A 27-year-old Woodchester man has been sentenced to a three year community order for possessing 135 indecent images of children aged between four and 13 years.

At Gloucester Crown Court yesterday, William Graham, from Woodchester, admitted to having 27 Category A indecent images of children - the most serious type - 30 Category B and 78 Category C between November 25, 2016 and June 6, 2017.

Traces of the material were found on two of his phones, downloaded from a KIK forum in which pornographic images were being shared.

Prosecutor Nicola Wood said the offences came to light in 2018 when the National Crime Agency contacted the American authorities in relation to activity on the KIK forum.

She said: “Gloucestershire Police only became involved in June 2019 and visited Graham’s home address after an execution of a warrant on August 14, 2019 where a number of electronic devices were seized.

“A Samsung phone and an Apple iPhone were seized and both had traces of the same images as they were duplicated on each device when they were downloaded. The images that were recovered had been downloaded by Graham, but were no longer accessible as part of a shared forum.

“The images were created on at least 17 different occasions spread across an eight month period.

“Graham was interviewed by police and admitted that he had used the KIK forum in which pornographic material was shared. He claimed he hadn’t sought out these images but accepted that they had been downloaded as a result of being involved in such online forums.

“The children depicted in the images were aged between four to 13 years of age.”

Sarah Jenkins, defending, said: “The offences occurred some time ago and there has been no further offending. The offences are already five years old.

“This wasn’t a man who went looking for these images. His downfall was returning to the group chats and getting involved in the sharing of these images, which got downloaded onto his phones.

“He is very remorseful about his actions. He is assessed as suitable for being dealt with in the community.”

Recorder James Waddington QC told Graham: “These offences of possessing indecent images of children were committed in 2016 and 2017. It is material that the offences were committed sometime ago and I am satisfied that the CPS has done its best to bring the case to court as soon as it could.

“You have admitted that you had indecent images of very young girls on your phones, however I must consider a sentence that will keep you out of trouble and therefore I feel a three year community order is the best option."

Graham was sentenced to 40 programme sessions, 40 rehabilitation activity requirement days and subjected to the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for five years, limiting his use of the internet He was required to sign the sex offenders’ register for the same time period.

The judge ordered Graham to pay court costs of £525 and a victim surcharge of £85.

He also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the phones.