A 53-year-old Wiltshire man caught with almost 900 indecent images of children in his caravan has avoided jail ‘by a squeak.’

Craig Moore, of Church View in Echilhampton, near Devizes, pleaded guilty at Gloucester Crown Court on Tuesday, January 9, to making indecent pseudo photos of children on August 12, 2021.

74 of these images were in the most serious Category A, 63 of them were in Category B, and 759 were Category C images.

Moore was subsequently sentenced to a two-year suspended jail term.

Prosecutor Omar Majid said that on the date of the arrest police went to his caravan in Wainlodes, near Gloucester, and arrested him in connection with an unrelated matter.

His caravan was searched and various electronic devices were seized - including a black Huawei tablet which was found to contain all the indecent images of children aged between 3 and 13.

The device had first been used in July that year - only weeks before the arrest - so it appeared all the images had been accumulated in that time, said the prosecutor.

During an interview with the police on February 14, 2022, Moore told officers he was bisexual. 

He said he had been using the device to search for adult porn.

Moore claimed he was taking medication which made him unable to become sexually aroused and also claimed that he had an injury that made masturbation difficult.

"He made various excuses," said the barrister.

"He said he was leading a transient lifestyle and wouldn't have the energy. He specifically denied sexual interest in children.

"Of particular note is that in 2015 he was dealt with for a matter of a like nature (a similar offence) in Scotland.

“He was taking indecent photos of a child and was in possession of extreme pornography."

Jack Barry, defending, said Moore had suffered a very traumatic childhood and had been placed in care at the age of nine because he had been the victim of an abusive father.

He had remained in care till the age of 30, largely because he had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, said Mr Barry.

At the time of the offences Moore had just lost his dog, which he doted on and which formed a huge part of his life, the barrister added.

"He tells me he is in the process of acquiring another dog from a friend and he believes that will be a great help.

"He is not trying to minimise his offence and he accepts what he has done. He says he was in a particularly poor place with his mental health in July 2021.

“He had just ended a serious relationship and he was looking at porn. It is not a time of his life that he wishes to repeat.

"He has a bungalow near Devizes and is determined to lead a productive life there.

"I cannot escape the fact that the images he had were horrific, but he is adamant that he has put all that behind him.”

Judge Ian Lawrie KC told Moore that he had avoided jail 'by a squeak.' 

The images were 'appalling,' he said.

"There can be no reason for looking at such imagery," the judge told Moore. "If we meet again, I can tell you now that you will be going to custody for a long time."

As well as sentencing Moore to two years jail suspended for two years, the judge ordered him to do 45 rehabilitation activity days.

He said he would ask Wiltshire Probation Service to keep him updated on Moore's behaviour and progress.