A HAMPSHIRE computer expert was caught with more than 6,000 indecent pictures and videos of children on his laptop, a court has heard.

The “abhorrent” images – some of which were categorised as the most serious by police – were found during a search by officers of computer equipment belonging to Julian Nicholls, 45, from Wisbech Way, Hordle, Lymington.

Southampton Crown Court was told that Nicholls, who worked in IT, had indecent pictures and videos of children as young as three on his laptop.

During a police interview he initially denied he had any sexual interest in children but later admitted he had downloaded the files for his own sexual gratification.

The court was also told that Nicholls would “select his favourite videos and images” and make them available to users on a file-sharing website.

Nicholls pleaded guilty to 15 counts of possessing indecent images of children. Nicholls, who has no previous convictions, was jailed for six months and was told he would serve no more than three months because of his plea.

He was ordered to sign the sex offender register and will be subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.