A former crown court clerk who downloaded indecent images of teenage boys has been made the subject of a three-year community order.

Brighouse man Andrew Wood, 48, who is understood to have previously worked for the Ministry of Justice at Leeds Crown Court, was arrested back in October 2014 by West Yorkshire police officers acting on intelligence obtained as part of a international operation focusing on the purchase of DVDs and videos of teenage boys.

Prosecutor Jayne Beckett told Bradford Crown Court today (Wednesday) that Wood was linked to the purchase of a DVD and his home was searched by officers.

Mrs Beckett said police seized “quite a large amount of computer equipment” and analysis of an external hard-drive revealed almost 200 indecent images of boys aged between 13 and 16.

During his police interviews Wood, of Thornhills Lane, said he hadn’t received any sexual gratification from his offending and claimed he was “trying to find out who he was.”

At another police interview a year later Wood confirmed that he was the only person who could have downloaded 10 sample images which were shown to him.

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Wood pleaded guilty at a previous court hearing to 10 charges relating to the making of indecent images of children and an allegation of possessing indecent images.

Mrs Beckett said 45 out of the 191 indecent images were in the most serious category.

The court heard that Wood was now working for a supermarket and Judge Colin Burn was handed a number of references on his behalf.

Barrister Robin Frieze, for Wood, submitted that his client was clearly somebody who did a great deal for the community as demonstrated by the references.

“You know as well as I do, because you are an intelligent man, that what you did was firstly illegal and secondly perpetuating a market in abuse,” the judge told Wood.

Judge Burn said that on the one hand Wood had been “of great worth to the community” particularly in relation to his important role at the Ministry of Justice, but on the other he had “almost without thinking” been providing a market which resulted in, or caused, significant damage to children in various far-flung parts of the globe.

The judge added: “You are a person with no previous convictions. You’ve lost that good character now forever and I think that’s had a very significant effect on you.”

As part of the three-year community order Wood will have to comply with the terms of a sex offender treatment programme.

He will also have to do 120 hours unpaid work for the community and pay £750 costs.

Judge Burn told Wood that he would now have to register as a sex offender with the police for the next five years and be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for the same period of time.