A vigilante who exposed paedophiles has been let off with a fine after downloading 1,700 child abuse images in two years.
Cameron Battisson, 21, used illegal websites to snare other perverts, but says he became increasingly attracted to what he saw.
He then started sharing the pictures with other paedophiles. Police found nearly 700 images of the most severe category of child abuse images on his laptop and phone.
Battison, from Sandyford, Staffordshire, was taken into custody following the raid on his home in July 2017.
Prosecutor William Donnelly said: When the defendant was interviewed by police following his arrest he said it began a couple of years prior when he began to explore this area of the internet.
He says initially it was in the hope he was going to be able to snare people involved in this sort of activity but some time thereafter began to become attracted to images of these children which he had seen and began to ask others to send him photographs and he too sending photographs to them.
Battissons lawyer, Hamish Noble said he was diagnosed with autism and suffered from learning difficulties.
He said: A female friend at college recommended to him the possibility of snaring people online. He went online but very quickly he forgot why he went on there and became involved in frequent downloading and sharing of these images.
However, Judge Paul Glenn said: I do not accept that your conduct can simply be explained by reference to the autistic spectrum disorder.