A PERVERT used Twitter to access and distribute vile images of children being sexually abused, a court heard.
Stephen Shaw, 38, was arrested after West Yorkshire Police officers received information that he was using his own Twitter account to download images and then send them on to others.
Officers executed a search warrant at his home on Bodmin Road, Middleton, Leeds, and seized two lap top computers and mobile phones from the property. The equipment was analysed and found to contain a total of 171 illegal images.
Leeds Crown Court heard 33 images were at category A - the most serious level of offending - featuring the sexual abuse of youngsters.
John Bull, prosecuting, said Shaw used Twitter to access the material and used the online service to share material with others between January and December last year.
Shaw was interviewed about the offending and admitted to officers that he used Twitter to commit the offences.
Mr Bull described the offending as an “unusual case” because of the use of the social networking service.
Shaw pleaded guilty to seven offences of making indecent images of a child and two of distributing indecent images of a child.
Stephen Welford, mitigating, said Shaw had no previous convictions and had admitted the offences at an early stage.
Shaw was made the subject of a three-year community order, during which he must take part in a 60-day sex offenders treatment programme.
He was also made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order which bans him from accessing sexually explicit material on the internet. He was told he must go on the sex offenders register.
Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “You were getting pleasure from watching children being sexually abused in the most dreadful way.
“What is particularly serious in your case is that not only were you viewing these images for your own perverted sexual pleasure and thus encouraging the sexual abuse of children, but you were also distributing them.”