A man from Wrexham said to have developed an unhealthy sexual interest in children was found to have indecent images on his mobile phone.
But Andrew Patrick Horsfall, 37, of Ffordd Llewelyn in Borras, has been spared a term in prison.
A crown court judge said the public would be better protected by him being sent on courses under a community order to challenge the issues he had.
Horsfall admitted making by downloading four indecent images of children at category A, the worst kind, together with five at category B and 41 at category C.
He also admitted possessing a prohibited image of a child and one extreme image depicting oral sex between a person and a dog.
Judge Niclas Parry placed him on a two year community order with rehabilitation.
A seven year sexual harm prevention order was made and he was ordered to register with the police as a sex offender for five years.
The judge ordered the phone be forfeited and destroyed but said he had no objection to the order being managed in such a way that treasured photographs of the defendant’s own children could be returned to him.
Sentencing him at Mold Crown Court, Judge Parry said: “By your own admission, what happened here is that you developed an unhealthy sexual interest in children.”
Horsfall had been deliberately searching for images. “These are concerning developments,” the judge said.
But he was remorseful and more importantly was willing to address his issues.
Judge Parry said he was also not ignoring that Horsfall, who had no previous convictions, had his own mental health issues.
It was the kind of case where the court could use its discretion to impose a substantial community order which would be better for public protection.
The rehabilitation order meant the issues he had would be investigated in depth.
Prosecutor David Mainstone said police executed a search warrant last September at the home of the defendant’s brother following information that the Internet service at that address had been used to access indecent images of children.
The brother was arrested initially but the police very quickly realised that he had no involvement.
They learned that the defendant had been living at the address at the time the images were accessed.
Mr Mainstone said the defendant was contacted by mobile phone, he met officers that day and his mobile phone was seized from his van.
That contained the four class A images, five class B, 41 class C, one prohibited image and four extreme images.
Horsfall admitted going online where images were shared and said he had received some.
Henry Hills, defending, said it was clear his client, a man of good character, had “significant scope for personal development and change for the better”.
He said he would not mitigate further when the judge indicated that he would follow the community order recommendation in the pre-sentence report.