A FORMER caravan park worker who downloaded nearly 1,000 indecent images of young children has been jailed for 18 months.

Images downloaded by Matthew Legg included children between the ages of six months and 13 years, some of whom were said to be depicted in “pain and distress”, Bournemouth Crown Court was told.

Legg, 52, of Valley Road, Swanage, admitted committing the offences between January 2016 and January 2018.

A total of 86 of the images were category A - the most serious – with 110 in category B and 764 in category C.

Judge Robert Pawson heard that Legg, who was convicted of indecent assault of two young children in 2000, was living in a caravan at the time he was arrested on January 22 last year.

Defending, Tim Shorter, said Legg, who now works as a gardener for elderly people, accepts that he needs help.

He urged the judge to refer him for treatment and not to send him to prison.

And he said Legg has had no one to talk to and has been forced to move on from many locations when people found out he is a convicted child abuser.

But Judge Pawson told Legg: “If people like you were not downloading images of babies being sexually abused then people would not sexually abuse them.

“You knew precisely the risk you were taking.”

The court heard that a probation report considered Legg has a “high risk of reconviction.”

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the category A offences with a further nine months for category B and two months for category C, to run concurrently.

He was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.