A KENDAL man has been jailed for five months after admitting possessing extreme pornography showing women engaged in sexual activities with animals.

Some of the footage found at the Back Lane, Kendal, home of Gary Sharples was so ‘disturbing’ that the police officer given the ‘horrendous task’ of viewing the footage could not watch it, South Lakeland magistrates were told.

Lisa Hine, prosecuting, told the court that police searched the 47-year-old’s property on July 13 while he was in custody on unrelated matters.

During the search, officers found 22 DVDs containing extreme pornography.

The court heard that under a new offence created in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, the DVDs fell into the ‘most serious level’.

Sharples told police that he had bought the DVDs - each lasting 15 minutes - from a Chinese man who visited pubs in Kendal.

The man was selling them at three for £10.

In mitigation, John Batty told the court that Sharples - who worked as a driver between 3am and lunchtime - had relocated to Kendal from Greater Manchester, leaving behind family.

“It is something of a lonely existence,” he said. “This gentlemen knows what he did was naive and stupid.”

Mr Batty said he acknowledged that the threshhold for custody had been passed given the seriousness of the footage but asked magistrates to suspend any sentence of imprisonment because of the defendant’s previous good character.

He said Sharples would not wish that anybody featured in the DVDs was harmed and thought the people involved were ‘consenting adults.’ But magistrates said that because the footage was so serious, they had been left with no choice but to send him to prison.

Sentencing Sharples to 150 days’ custody, lead magistrate Peter Benning said: ”This sentence is passed because of the extreme nature of what was on those DVDs and the level of seriousness - they are right at the top.

“We have no other option than to treat this seriously in the way that we have.”

Sharples also admitted possessing cannabis resin but he was not sentenced for that offence because of the severity of the other punishment.

Magistrates ordered that the DVDs and cannabis resin be confiscated and destroyed.