A SEX offender claims 'alien trees' made him download indecent images of children being raped as they were subjected to the most 'appalling' abuse.

Benjamin Partridge of Worcester blamed voices in his head for making him download the images, one showing a girl of between six and eight years old being raped. The bearded 48-year-old of Northcote Street arrived at Worcester Crown Court yesterday dressed in a burgundy suit and accompanied by a carer who sat with him in the dock.

He admitted three counts of making indecent images of children and one of possessing an extreme pornographic image of a woman having sex with a horse. He had two still images of children and seven moving images at category A (the most serious category), six at category B and 13 still photographs and two moving images at category C, all made between May 21, 2000 and June 22, 2014.

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A warrant was executed at Partridge's city home at 7.30am on July 7, 2016. The defendant was not present. Electronic devices were seized.

Michael Aspinall, prosecuting, said there were hundreds of other inaccessible files which suggested they had once contained indecent images. One of the folders was marked 'unpleasant', and Partridge had entered search terms like 'Lolita rape child' and 'nine year old tied up with nylon'.

The defendant was interviewed by police on July 15, 2016 and denied possessing the images. In April 2018 he was interviewed again following analysis of his computers and admitted making the images.

"He explained he suffered from mental illness and voices in his head had told him to do it" said Mr Aspinall.

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Partridge had one previous conviction for harassment and another for failing to surrender to custody, receiving a community order and a restraining order.

Mr Aspinall said: "There were some children who were very young. One image shows a child in distress. This took place over a considerable period of time."

Christopher Pembridge, defending, said his client showed 'some level of avoidance of his actions' but had accepted no other people had access to the devices on which the images were found.

Judge Nicolas Cartwright said Partridge had 'very genuine and serious mental health difficulties' including Bipolar Disorder, was on the autistic spectrum, suffered from anxiety and depression and was delusional. He said: "I can't pretend to understand, indeed I don't suppose anyone can understand, the way that you were thinking to do with the trees being an alien species instructing you to obtain information relating to the human species that led you to download these images.

"Bizarre as that sounds, it's clear from what I have read in the probation report and the psychiatric report that you did actually have this thought process going through your head, odd as it seems."

He added: "The damage that is done to the child both physically and, more importantly, psychologically will be profound and life-long."

Partridge was sentenced to a two year community order to include 40 rehabilitation activity requirement days. The devices which contained the images will be forfeited and destroyed.

A sexual harm prevention order was made for five years. Partridge must pay £535 costs.