A Worthing man caught looking at indecent images of girls as young as three has been spared jail.
Jean-Paul Charteris, 39, of Selden Road in Worthing, told police he would search for the images ‘when he was drinking or would take drugs’, a court heard.
Officers found 1,168 indecent images of children – some picturing toddlers just three years old – at his home.
Charteris admitted three charges of making/possessing indecent photographs of children, two charges of distributing indecent photographs of children, possessing prohibited image of a child and possessing extreme pornographic image.
Prosecutor Beverly Cripps told Hove Crown Court on Friday: “Officers had information that he had been distributing images.”
When they arrived at his address in April 2016 police discovered evidence that Charteris had been ‘searching for young girls having sex’, she said.
Charteris admitted the offences to police and also admitted to using online chatroom Chatstep to talk about abuse.
Defence barrister Harry MacDonald said: “Since his arrest Mr Charteris has sought help through a wide variety of supportive and rehabilitative organisations.”
He accepted that the custody threshold was passed but called for Charteris not to be sent to prison.
Sentencing him, Recorder Adrian Chaplin said: “The gravity of the offending that you have engaged in, the fact that the imagery that you collected and that you distributed involves the sexual exploitation of vulnerable members of our community or of more deprived communities means that you have involved yourself in amongst the worst behaviour that adults practice upon the vulnerable.”
Charteris was sentenced to a two-year community order and must complete various rehabilitative courses.
He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.