A judge has warned members of the public about the dangers of storing pornography on their phones after two men were convicted of possessing "truly disgusting" images and videos.
Old Bailey judge Paul Worsley QC said the content, found on the phones of "respectable" defendants Gary Ticehurst and Mark Kelly, was intended for "shock value".
Both men said they had received the content from an unknown source, and had been unable to watch it all due to feeling "sickened". The videos and image were later recovered by police after they stopped the defendants, both from Essex, in London in January on an unrelated matter.
Sentencing the defendants to a conditional discharge, judge Worsley admitted the punishment was "lenient" but said neither man had solicited the extreme content.
But he warned: "You have pleaded guilty to possessing truly disgusting images.
"It makes a big difference if someone goes out of their way to seek it, or if they're sent it by some mischievous colleague.
"In your case it was unsolicited.
"This is an exceptional case in some ways.
"The public should not find this carte blanche to possess material of this nature."
Prosecutor Tom Coke-Smyth said the material had been sent to the friends' phones up to three months prior to police examining their handsets.
Kelly, 25, of Stapleford Abbotts in Romford, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image likely to cause injury, and three counts of possessing pornographic images involving animals.
Ticehurst, 28, of Newlands Road on Canvey Island, admitted one count of one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image likely to cause injury, and two counts of possessing pornographic images involving animals.
Defending himself in court, Kelly said he was sent the material by an unknown person via Whatsapp.
He said: "I deleted the videos from my Whatsapp, but I had no ideas they would save to my camera roll.
"I didn't even watch the full content of the video. It was very sick and disturbing."
Ticehurst, who was also unrepresented, said he had received a new phone in December and didn't know who had sent them to him.
He said: "They (the files) were on my phone for two months, I completely forgot about them.
"I thought they were disgusting and decided not to look at them."
The pair said they had no idea possessing the material was illegal.
Judge Worsley said there was no evidence of the defendants sharing the content, or the men getting sexual gratification from them.
He handed both defendants a two-year conditional discharge and told them to each pay £500 costs.