A PERVERTED Stourbridge postman who watched "horrific" child pornography for sexual gratification has been spared a prison sentence.

John Smallman was actually viewing indecent photographs of children when police officers called at his home - Rhiannon Jones, prosecuting, told Wolverhampton Crown Court.

She said Smallman was rumbled when he responded to an advert for DVD's containing child pornography and when the officers knocked on his front door he was on his computer.

The 54-year-old left his computer on so he could answer the door and police were able to see he was looking at the indecent images.

When questioned Smallman, a postman for 26 years, said he had gone onto the sites initially out of curiosity but he then "experimented".

He told the officers his favourite clips involved "quite horrific" images featuring a girl aged six or seven and confessed he got sexual gratification from watching the images.

Andrew Baker, defending, said the offences had escalated and they had "almost become a compulsion" for Smallman, who sat in the dock at court with his head bowed.

But he stressed Smallman had deleted virtually all of the 4,900 still and moving images he had downloaded "save for a handful" and he had been " brutally frank" when questioned by police.

Smallman, of Eveson Road, Norton, admitted 25 charges of making indecent images of children including a small number at levels four and five - the two worst categories.

Judge John Warner told him: "You clearly knew you were doing wrong. You are hanging your head in shame as indeed you should."

But he ruled custody would not enable him to receive the right assistance to resolve his "addiction to child sex images."

He placed Smallman on Supervision for three years with a condition that he attends the Sex Offenders Programme and he told him he must register as a sex offender for the next five years.

The judge further made Smallman, a man of previous good character, the subject of an indefinite Sex Offenders Protection Order and barred him from ever working with children.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Royal Mail can confirm that a postman has been suspended following the outcome of a recent court case involving this individual. We are following our internal conduct code process for dealing with this matter.”