A WOMAN downloaded more than 1,000 child abuse images because she “knew how they felt”.

Amanda Shillito has been given a suspended jail sentence after she downloaded 1,162 indecent images of children, 54 of which were Category A, the most serious kind.

The 27-year-old’s home in Rayleigh was raided by police on February 3, 2016, and despite admitting her offending and voluntarily attending a police interview, it has taken nearly four years for her to be sentenced.

Shillito appeared at Basildon Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced for three counts of possessing abuse images, one count of possessing 1,144 prohibited images of children, and possessing two images of extreme animal pornography.

The court was told Shillito was access forums such as ‘4chan’, where she once uploaded an indecent image in her possession, which led to her being removed from the site and police being alerted to her.

Prosecuting, Nick Wayne said: “The defendant was interviewed and she stated she had no sexual interest in children.

“She said ‘I knew how they felt, it’s hard to explain’. She said she was on a lot of speed at the time, staying up all night to access the images.”

Mitigating for Shillito, Chris Whitcombe said: “She had had this hanging over her for four years, but there has not been a single sniff of any new offences.

"Any risk she poses for future offending could quite properly be managed in the community.”

The court was also told Shillito lives with mental health issues which she is receiving treatment for.

Sentencing, Judge Samantha Cohen said: “You were completely obsessional about accessing the most grotesque images, medicating yourself to stay awake.

“It’s clear to me you now realise the seriousness of what you were doing.”

Shillito, now of High Street, Edgeware, Middlesex, was given a six month suspended sentence for all five charges to run concurrently.

She was also given 30 days rehabilitation and a £50 financial penalty.

She will also be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for seven years.