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A JUDGE dubbed a Southampton pensioner a significant risk to children after hearing he had downloaded more than 27,000 vile pictures of sex abuse.

Martin Corbridge, 68, was arrested when police visited his home because he was on a sex offenders register and he had gained access to a website linked to children, prosecutor Bernice Mulvaney told the city crown court.

Although the images involving children as young as three had been deleted, police were still able to trace their history.

Corbridge, of Drove Road, Sholing, admitted 16 charges of making indecent images.

He was jailed for 30 months and received a sexual offenders prevention order restricting his use of the internet and banning him from contacting and having unsupervised access to children under 17, which will run indefinitely.

Passing sentence, Judge Peter Henry told Corbridge he had been "enthusiastically" looking for such images.

The children had been abused in a revolving and degrading manner, and he did not accept he had not got a sexual arousal from looking at them.

"I have no doubt you committed these offences for sexual gratification," he said "I am satisfied you pose a significant risk to children. Only custody can be imposed."