Trevor Hulse appeared at the court where he had previously supervised defendants for more than 10 years to face the charges.
Following his arrest Hulse, of Nursery Close, West Felton, near Oswestry, told police he started downloading the images after he became “curious”, having heard similar cases while working as a prisoner custody officer.
He had pleaded guilty to three offences of making a total of 187 indecent pictures of children between April 2006 and September last year.
The court heard that 11 of the pictures were in the most serious category and depicted images of bondage.
Hulse was given a three-year community order which includes supervision and a lengthy and intensive sex offenders’ programme.
Recorder Nicolas Daly said that, while custody would be justified for the more serious images, any sentence he could pass would not offer sufficient time for Hulse to receive the rehabilitation treatment he needed.
“You have lost your previous good character and caused considerable embarrassment for both yourself and your family and that, in itself, is a significant punishment,” he said.
In addition to the community order Hulse will be on the sex offenders’ register for five years and subject to an indefinite sexual offences prevention order which involves extensive restrictions on his future access and use of any computer equipment. He was also ordered to pay £300 costs.
Hulse, who now works as delivery driver, had been a regular dock officer at Shrewsbury Crown Court while working for security firm Geo Amey until he left last year.
Mr Robert Edwards, prosecuting, said that police recovered a desktop computer from the defendant’s home in December last year.
He said that only two of the images were accessible by the average user of the computer. The rest were retrieved by police computer experts after Hulse revealed the use of software for secure deletion of files.
Hulse had told police he had deleted the images because “he knew what he was doing was wrong”.
Mr Stephen Scully, for Hulse, said this client had caused embarrassment to his family and himself in having to come to court, especially in view of his previous occupation.
“Almost all the images were deleted. The software was used to regularly clean his computer to make it more efficient and not specifically to hide the images,” he said.