A TEEN who shared child sex abuse images online has been spared time behind bars.

But Recorder Adam Feest QC told Colt Hogg that it was “about as close run thing as it could be” that he wasn’t sending the 19-year-old to prison.

Imposing a two year prison sentence suspended for two years, the judge said: “I make it absolutely clear I am going to reserve any breaches of this sentence to myself.

“If you breach your sentence I will make it my business to find time to come back to resentence you.

“If you and I meet again, unless you have the best excuse for a breach – one which, at the moment I can’t imagine you will find – you will find yourself going to prison.”

Prosecutor Rhianna Fricker told Salisbury Crown Court on Friday that detectives received intelligence that someone was uploading child sex abuse images to social media app Kik from Hogg’s home.

They raided the Enford home he shared with his parents in January 2020 and seized a number of digital devices.

A large number of indecent images were found on four devices – an iPhone, iPad, computer tower and an LG phone.

Only some of the images had been categorised by the police. He was charged with having 306 images and videos in category A, 324 in category B, 299 in category C and 26 prohibited images of children.

In a number of conversations with other sex offenders on the Kik app, he distributed eight category A indecent images, 14 category B images and seven in category C. The images were all distributed days before his arrest last January, when he was three months past his 18th birthday.

Interviewed by the police, Hogg candidly admitted downloading the images.

His barrister, Ellie Fargin, said he had been looking for images of young people around the same age as him – 17 or 18.

He was remorseful, had significantly curbed his internet use and access of legal internet pornography, and was motivated to work with the probation service. It was now 16 months since his arrest. He had no previous convictions.

The man’s mother told Recorder Feest QC she’d had no idea her son was collecting the indecent material. “It hit my husband and I like a brick wall. We had no suspicion at all.”

Hogg, of Enford, near Upavon, pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court to possession and distribution of indecent images.

As part of his two year suspended sentence order, Enford must complete 200 hours of unpaid work, up to 55 rehabilitation activity days and the sex offender treatment programme. He was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order and the sex offender notification requirements for 10 years.