A CIVILIAN prison worker described himself as, “a dirty pervert” after child and animal pornography was found on his home computer.

Police visited Andre Michele Savell’s home, in Bearpark, near Durham, on February 22, after his details emerged amid an operation into internet pornography by the Gloucestershire force.

Durham Crown Court heard that examination of computer equipment seized from the premises revealed 464 indecent child images, most considered at a low level of severity, but six of which were classed in the second most serious category.

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David Wilkinson, prosecuting, said there were also 73 images of “extreme pornography’ featuring scenes of bestiality.

The court was told as a result of his conviction Savell, of previous good character, lost his job of 25 years as a gardener at Durham Prison.

Paul Abrahams, mitigating, told the court: “Not only has he lost his job, but he has been driven from his home since he made his admissions at the previous hearing.”

Having handed character references from close friends of Savell to the court, Mr Abrahams said: “It’s fair to say that this man poses no real risk of sexual harm to anyone.

“He says he began looking at pornography and it led on to this type of material.

“I think the court can be confident he won’t behave in this way again.”

Fifty-three-year-old Savell, now of West Road, Grange Villa, near Chester-le-Street, admitted 16 charges of making an indecent image of a child, one of possession of such material and four of possession of extreme pornography.

Having read the testimonials presented to the court, Judge Christopher Prince, told Savell: “Clearly you are a slightly vulnerable man and most people seem to think you’re a kind man, but you realise what you have done is wholly wrong.

“The vast majority of people appearing before me for such offences deny having a sexual interest in children.

“But, you have been utterly honest and, after only a moment prevarication, you admitted getting sexual gratification from viewing these images.

“I note that in the pre-sentence report you describe yourself as, ‘a dirty pervert’, and now feel disgusted with yourself, which indicates genuine remorse.”

Judge Prince imposed a four month prison sentence, suspended for two years, during which Savell will have to attend a sex offender treatment programme.

He must also register as a sex offender for the next seven years and he was banned from working in any way with children.