A GRADUATE who helped his wife run a church youth club has admitted downloading more than 2,000 disgusting images of children from the internet.

Police found them on Andrew Lumber’s computer when they raided his home in Colford Close, Droitwich, on September 18, 2008.

He admitted possessing child porn when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court.

Nearly 650 of the images were at the most serious level and there were more than 40 moving images, 11 of which were rated serious, said Kerry Moreton, prosecuting.

The pictures showed children aged between six months and 16 years.

Lumber told police that he was only interested in children aged about 12. He had not distributed pictures to anyone else.

Julian Harris, defending, submitted references and said that Lumber, who had no previous convictions, lost his job when his employers heard about the case.

He was suffering from depression at the time. He had few friends but his wife was standing by him and his family had been supportive. He had been disgusted and ashamed when police had showed him the images, which he found abhorrent.

Judge Amjad Nawaz said that although the offence passed the custody threshhold, he was making a three-year community order for Lumber to receive treatment.

He would be supervised by the probation service for three years and have to undertake a community sex offender group work programme.

He would have to register as a sex offender for five years and would be subject to a sexual offences prevention order for the same time. He was ordered to pay £352 costs.

The judge said that Lumber had been to university and was married, an advantage many others did not have, and that religion played a major part in his life.

The youth group which Lumber helped his wife to run was the Sacred Heart Youth Club, based at the Church of the Sacred Heart and Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Worcester Road, Droitwich.

After the hearing, a spokeman for the Arch-diocese of Birmingham, which oversees all catholic churches in Worcestershire, said: “Mr Lumber has not been involved in any form of youth work in the Catholic Church since these matters came to light. The Catholic Church in England and Wales has well developed procedures in place to protect children and vunerable adults. These matters are always taken extremely seriously.”