A UNIVERSITY student from Bewdley who downloaded indecent pictures of children and extreme pornography has been given a three-year community order and must register as a sex offender for five years.

Daniel Wormald pleaded guilty at Worcester Crown Court to five charges of making indecent pictures of children, one of of having 336 pornographic images featuring animals and one of having a prohibited image of a child.

Judge Richard Rundell said guidelines set by the Sentencing Council indicated a prison sentence but he felt nothing would be achieved by a short spell in custody. More would be achieved by Wormald taking part in a community sex offender programme.

He ordered that 23-year-old Wormald should be under the supervision of the probation service for three years and undertake the sex offender programme and do 150 hours unpaid work for the community.

He yesterday imposed £500 court costs but said a sexual offences prevention order was not necessary as Wormald was no real danger to the public.

Prosecutor Paul Whitfield said the offences, which dated back to 2010, were revealed when police visited Wormald's home In Kidderminster Road, Bewdley, and seized his laptop computer. Analysis showed 333 indecent images at level 1, 18 at level 2, 80 at level 3, 41 at level 4 and three at level 5, the most serious.

There were 336 pornographic images with humans having sex with animals. There was also a picture of an under-age child on his mobile phone. Wormald, who was of previous good character, had begun downloading the images in 2010. He gave no explanation at the police station.

Michael Aspinall, for Wormald, submitted references and pointed out that the offences began when the defendant was 19. He had been bullied at school and he seemed to gain solace by his work on the computer. He had since deleted the extreme pornography.

Since the charges were brought, he had completed his masters degree and gained promotion at work. He recognised his behaviour was not acceptable or normal and there was a low risk of him re-offending.