A MAN who possessed more than 7,000 indecent images of children on his computer has escaped prison.

Noel Anthony Ivers, 46, formerly of Main Road, Broughton, received a three-year community sentence on condition that he attends a sex offender treatment programme.

Ivers, now of Geneva Road, Liverpool, was also made the subject of a Sex Offender Prevention Order to curb his activities in future.

And he was also ordered to register with the police as a sex offender for the next five years.

Sandra Subacchi, prosecuting, told Mold Crown Court how a warrant was executed at Ivers’ address in Broughton on August 5 last year.

A computer was seized and was found to contain 7,766 images of child abuse.

The majority were the less serious level one but there were 505 category four and 71 at the most serious, level five.

Police who viewed the images put the ages of the children at between four and eight.

Initially Ivers denied having any images on his computer but when he was interviewed after the images were discovered, he admitted he had been downloading them for the past four years.

He admitted that all the images were downloaded by him and that he also uploaded certain images to an online storage account as they were “his favourites”.

Ivers pleaded guilty to one charge of possessing indecent images of children, together with 16 offences of making such images.

The court was told the probation service considered Ivers could be safely managed in the community.

Judge Philip Hughes said the images showed the abuse of young children and the defendant’s offences encouraged others to continue such abuse.

He warned that ordinarily, such offences would attract an immediate custodial sentence.

But he took into account Ivers’ previous good character, his cooperation and his early guilty pleas. Bearing in mind what was said by the probation service in his pre-sentence report, the judge said that he was prepared to take a lenient course and give him an opportunity “to put the past behind you”.