A PAEDOPHILE who was found with indecent images of children as young as two years old has avoided jail.

Daniel Lawson, of Cherrydown West, Basildon, also distributed images via Twitter to others with a sexual interest in children.

Police raided the 46-year-old’s home in July 2020 and found the images on his phone and various searches for indecent pictures of children on his computer.

At Basildon Crown Court he avoided a prison sentence as the judge insisted that these are “serious offences” and not a “victimless crime”.

Philippa Page, prosecuting, said: “On July 27, 2020, police searched his home because of intelligence to suggest he was using the internet to see indecent images of children.

“He admitted it when police arrested him and his computer was seized. He had 103 images and some were of children between two and three years old and others up to 15 years old.

“There were a further 205 images which were borderline indecent. There were lots of searches for indecent images of children on his computer.”

She told the court he made “candid” admissions to the police but told them he didn’t feel he needed help for his sexual interest in children.

She said Lawson has a previous conviction for cannabis possession and that he has no previous convictions of this kind, adding he was “almost of good character.”

Andrew Kerr, mitigating, said: “Unpaid work is not appropriate here. He has diabetes and had a kidney transplant and has not been working. He told me he didn’t want me to make any excuses for him.”

Recorder David Osborne said: “Because of the rise of this type of material and other porn in the last 70 years, there’s been an explosion in exploitation of children around the world.

“If it wasn’t for people like you children were not be abused like this and this is not a victimless crime. These are serious offences.”

He was sentenced to an 18-month community order, with 50 days of rehabilitation activity requirement and a curfew from 9pm to 6am. He is also subject to a sexual harm prevention order for five years.