A CARER who hoarded hundreds of indecent images of children – some as young as five years old – on his computer, has escaped a prison sentence.

Andrew Jordan, 50, was found in possession of 296 images and 210 videos at his home in Queens Close, Chard.

He was caught out when a neighbour and friend discovered a video of a young girl masturbating on his computer.

Jordan said he did not know how they had got on there but when police seized the computer they found the collection of indecent images.

He pleaded guilty to 17 counts of making indecent photographs of a child and two counts of possessing extreme pornographic images, and was given a 36-month community order at Taunton Crown Court.

William Hunter, prosecuting, said: “A number of aliases were used and he registered to the teen video chat website. Some images showed girls as young as five and seven.”

The offences are said to have been committed between March 2007 and October 2011.

Patrick Mason, defending, said Jordan felt ‘eternal shame and regret’ for his actions.

He added that Jordan had generously let his neighbours use his computer when theirs broke.

He said: “He is the carer of his elderly parents – he lives a very quiet life.

“He had access to pornography and is frank and accepting that he pursued this material.”

Sentencing, Recorder Simon Levene told Jordan that cases like his were taken seriously due to the ‘unhappy’ circumstances in which the images are produced.

He added: “I give you credit for entering a plea of guilty at the plea and case management hearing.

“I have taken what Mr Mason said about you not entering a guilty plea sooner due to trying to confront what you had done and face up to it into consideration.

“I am also taking into account that you are a man of previous good character, you are a carer for your parents and the fact that you are likely to be affected by the loss of your job and all of the uncertainty it will bring to a man of your age.”

Jordan was also ordered to pay costs of £1,500 and has signed the Sex Offenders’ Register.