A FORMER assistant scout leader who downloaded and shared indecent pictures of children has been jailed.
Andrew Peet viewed child abuse images from when he was an early age, Bristol Crown Court heard yesterday.
His activities were brought to light when his details were detected by the US-based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.
Peet, 22, of Valley Gardens, Nailsea, pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing indecent material.
Jailing him for 18 months, Judge Michael Roach told him: “It is very sad to see a man of your age and of good character, of whom people speak very well in court, pleading guilty to offences of this seriousness.”
Peet was told to register as a sex offender for ten years and made the subject of a five-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order, banning him from unsupervised contact with people aged under 18.
Prosecutor Richard Posner said Peet, a carpenter and maintenance man at Bristol University, had used internet search terms relating to child abuse and had stored folders on two computers containing 47,000 photos.
Forensic analysis carried out on 6,000 images found 2,645 indecent photos of predominantly pre-pubescent boys and girls and 45 indecent movies of children.
Police were able to cite examples when Peet forwarded indecent material to others.
Peet stressed he would not physically abuse or photograph youngsters but said he was sickened by his own behaviour and realised children would have been harmed in producing the images.
The court heard Bristol University were aware and kept him on, he was no longer involved in scouting and his involvement with the British Canoeing Union put him into contact only with people aged over 18.
Caroline Harvey, defending, said her client had volunteered himself for sex offender treatment.
She said: “He is only 22 and has no previous convictions.
“He’s well aware, now, of the impact his offending has had.”