Man who collected 90,000 images of children and babies escapes jail because he is autistic

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A man who spent 10 years amassing a collection of 90,000 images and videos of children and babies being abused walked free from court yesterday because he has autism.

Adam Bates stored the “appalling” images which included babies a young as 10 months old being sexually assaulted, on two hard drives and a computer

The 30-year-old, of Vicarage Street, Woburn Sands, had spent 10 years searching and storing the pornographic images which accumulated to the massive collection.

He had also made his images available to other paedophiles by uploading them to a file sharing website Gigatribe.

Bates had 6,000 images and videos classified as levels two to five, five being the highest and most offensive pornographic image rating.

Yesterday, Bates who suffers from Asperger’s escaped a jail sentence and was ordered to take part in a three-year sexual offenders’ programme.

Judge Ian Pringle, sitting at Aylesbury Crown Court, said Bates’ Aspergers was part of the reason for his offending and took the exceptional step of a community order.

“Anyone who has had the misfortune to have looked at those images in order to perform their public duties will be able to confirm my view that they are quite appalling,” said Judge Pringle.

“You probably downloaded thousands and thousands of images because that’s what you do, you hoard.

“Your condition I consider to be highly relevant to your offending.”

Nigel Ogborne QC, prosecuting, said in real life Bates preferred teenagers and young women and added: “He said he must be sexually attracted to children but not when he saw them in the flesh.

“He said he had gone onto GigaTribe and viewed other images and had done nothing to stop others viewing his files.”

The judge gave Bates a supervision order and warned him that if he failed to comply with it he would face jail the next time.

Bates admitted four counts of making indecent images of children and a further count of possession, sharing or distribution indecent material.

Andrew Jordan, defending, said Bates, had been ‘passive rather than active’ in the distribution of the material.

He said: “Given the great benefit that the defendant and society would have from a three-year programme I do urge for a community order.”