A MAN who downloaded hundreds of explicit images of children being sexually abused has been spared jail.

Stephen Willetts, 33, of no fixed address, who used to work as a manager at Tesco in Minehead, admitted three charges of possession of indecent images of children at Taunton Crown Court, including more than 100 in the most severe category.

He received a three year community order, 100 hours unpaid work, has to attend an accredited sex offender programme for up to 50 days, sign the sex offenders register for 10 years and was disqualified from working with children & vulnerable adults.

An NSPCC spokesman for South West England said: “Many of the images Willetts downloaded fell into the most serious category of offending.

“Behind each of these pictures and videos is a victim suffering appalling crimes against them. Obtaining and collecting them fuels an awful trade."