A 51-year-old Belfast man who downloaded nearly 4,000 indecent images of children as young as two being sexually abused, has been given a two-year prison sentence.

Jailing Samuel Lawther the judge complained about sentencing inadequacies.

He said while the offences and guidelines called for a jail term, he could not impose one of such length that would encompass an intensive three-year rehabilitation programme.

Lawther, from Ashfield Gardens in east Belfast, had pleaded guilty to possessing 3,799 still photographs and 61 movie files.

The pornography was uncovered when police raided his home.

The judge said that particularly repugnant among the hundreds of images was the fact that very young children were being subjected to sexual abuse.

He held that the sexual abuse would have caused not just fear and distress, but actual physical injuries.