A TENBURY Wells man convicted of downloading child pornography on his work computer has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Steven Yates, 58, had stored the indecent images on his computer at the Ludlow offices of McCartney's Chartered Surveyors over a period of more than two years.
At Shrewsbury Crown Court Yates was given an eight month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
Recorder Stuart Sprawson told Yates that his conduct had been "appalling" and been done for his own gratification
Yates, who worked in IT at McCartney's offices at Ox Pasture, Ludlow, was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register and made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order for a period of five years.
In addition Yates, of Burford, Tenbury Wells, was ordered to pay £3,050 court costs.
He had denied having downloaded the pornographic images that police discovered on his computer's search history, but was found guilty after a trial.
The police were alerted when a witness believed she had seen an image of a topless woman on Yates' computer while he was sitting at his desk
Five of the most serious images were discovered by police and more than 180 further images at three lower levels of seriousness were also found.
Yates had denied four charges of making indecent photographs of children between January 2010, and July 2012, and had claimed that other staff members had access to his computer.
Andrew Davidson, for Yates, said his client had lost his job and his hitherto good character.
He said Yates faced the shame and humiliation of his convictions and it was catastrophic for both him and his family.
John Uffold, chairman of McCartneys and based at Ludlow, said after the hearing: "We are relieved the episode is over and that justice has been seen to be done.
"I am happy that the incident has been thoroughly investigated and no other member of staff was implicated in any form whatsoever.”