A Stainforth dad who downloaded banned images which featured characters from television show The Simpsons in sexual poses was snared by the National Crime Agency.
Gary Stephens, aged 52, was tracked down during a Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre probe after he uploaded an indecent image of a child to a website.
Stephens, of Mayfield Avenue, was arrested by South Yorkshire Police last May.
Police confiscated his computer and found 14 indecent images of children, 455 other prohibited images and two pictures and four videos of extreme animal pornography.
Sheffield Crown Court heard some of the prohibited images featured characters from popular cartoons such as The Simpsons and Inspector Gadget in sexual poses as well as other cartoons that depicted sexual violence and incest. Prosecution barrister, Carl Fitch, said: “When the defendant was interviewed he said he had been accessing these images because of getting into debt.
“He said he obtained the images in order to adopt the persona of a teenage girl.
“He said he was not aware it is an offence to possess images of that nature.”
The court was told Stephens pleaded guilty to four counts of possessing indecent and prohibited images at an earlier hearing last month.
He did not produce any of the indecent content himself.
Bridget Bailey, defending, said a series of problems including ill health and the loss of his job had led Stephens to use the pictures as a form of escapism.
She added: “It arose from his need to escape into a fantasy.”
“In the pre-sentence report he denied that there was anything sexual about his use of the images, but has since admitted there must have been a sexual element to it.”
Judge Peter Kelson QC (pictured) gave Stephens a three-year community order, and made him the subject of a sexual offences prevention order banning the dad-of-three from using any internet-connected device that does not keep a record of its internet history for five years.
He can also be asked to provide the police with any internet-connected device he uses at any point over the next five years.
Judge Kelson said: “Failure to comply with any of the conditions of the order could result in a large custodial sentence.”
Stephens has also been ordered to attend the Northumbria Sex Offenders programme, complete 200 hours of unpaid work and pay a £60 fine.