A FORMER school caterer downloaded a "sadistic" extreme pornographic image from a Dropbox link.

Nigel Young, of Taunton Road, Swanage, accessed photos of children aged around 10 being abused, as well as images of an adult woman being harmed and bestiality, a court heard on Friday.

The defendant was arrested last year after detectives from the National Crime Agency (NCA) learned of the existence of a Cloud storage platform which was used for indecent images.

Users had accessed the link via chatroom Chat To Go.

Young, 51, who served in the Army's cadet corps for 22 years, admitted 10 counts of possessing indecent images of children, two of possessing prohibited images and two of possessing an extreme pornographic image.

Stuart Ellacott, prosecuting at Bournemouth Crown Court, said: "The NCA received intelligence in November 2017 about a Cloud storage platform Dropbox which contained indecent images.

"Some 504 people across the globe accessed that particular account and downloaded indecent images of children.

"Of those, 27 were located in the UK. One of the IP addresses traced was linked to this defendant."

In total, Young accessed the Dropbox on nine separate occasions between June 4 and July 15 2017.

John Dyer, mitigating for Young, said he had suffered abuse as a child at the hands of a relative who has now died.

The defendant joined the Army when he was 18, and served in Northern Ireland, where he saw a colleague killed.

When he left the forces, he began working as a catering manager at a school. The name of the school was not given in open court.

He has since had to step down from that role, it was heard.

"He became absorbed by the images," Mr Dyer said.

"This is a unique case where someone has resorted to these ghastly images in order to self-medicate."

After learning that Probation Service officials identify Young as being of low risk of reoffending, Judge Peter Crabtree OBE sentenced him to a two-year community order with 100 hours of community service and 60 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

The defendant must also comply with the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for five years.