A BRADFORD man found with anime images that showed adults having sex with young children has been sentenced.

Prosecutor Eleanor Durdy told Bradford Crown Court that Aron Schofield was found with hundreds of thousands of images on his computer on August 19, 2021, after police became aware of his online activity around child abuse-related material.

His computer and other equipment were seized. Analysis revealed more than 300,000 unique images of which 27,849 were graded. Among them were Japanese “anime strips” showing adults having sex with girls as young as seven.

Schofield, 32, of Camberley Mount, Holme Wood, had used file-sharing software from March 2020 to access the material, which included a large amount of legal pornography. Some abusive images had been deleted.

In interview, he accepted downloading pornography and later pleaded guilty to possessing 347 prohibited images of children.

Miss Durdy said: “He accepted he was doing so for gratification and that he had been obsessed with downloading the material since losing his job. He denied any distribution.”

The court heard that Schofield was of previous good character and that there was no evidence that he had distributed any of the prohibited images.

Sentencing Schofield, Her Honour Judge Sophie McKone said she accepted that he was remorseful for what he had done and that he genuinely wanted help.

She said: “It was clear from the images that you were looking at that you do have a sexual interest in children.

“And while those images are anime – in other words they were not real children – it’s a very short step to looking at images of real children [who] really are being abused.

“In my view you do need assistance to make sure you do not make that short step.”

She handed Schofield a two-year community order and said he must undertake 50 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work in the community.

He was made the subject of a five-year sexual harm prevention order and placed on the sex offenders’ register for the same period.

Judge McKone ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the computer equipment.