A LONELY Boscombe man confessed to possessing more than 1,000 indecent images of children, a court heard.

Lionel Plowman, 67, was found to have 1,137 images at level one – depicting nudity – with a handful at levels three to five – depicting penetration – when police raided his home in The Crescent and confiscated 13 electronic devices in 2012.

Prosecutor Nicholas Robinson told Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday that Plowman had confessed to the offences at the earliest opportunity.

“The officer who analysed the devices found evidence of search phrases including ‘nude pre-teens’ and ‘pre-teen nudism’,” he said.

Defending, David Richards said: “He committed these offences when, he says, he was in a bad place personally.

“Clearly he is an isolated individual, he was looking at adult pornography generally, and he fell into looking at some of this material.

“He is of previous good character, and according to the assessment of the probation officer is at a low risk of reoffending.”

He said Plowman, a “lonely old man” with no family, had not looked at pornography since his arrest, and that the experience of passing through the criminal justice system had had “a salutary effect on him”.

Sentencing him to a three-year community order, and three years on the Thames Valley Sex Offenders programme, judge Samuel Wiggs said: “This may seem like a lenient sentence. It is not.”

He said Plowman faced a sentence of around four months imprisonment under the guidelines, but through the community order he would be compelled to attend the sex offenders’ programme for three years, and would be punished with a longer jail term if he reoffended.

Plowman was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for five years.