A MARRIED father who was caught with a stash of extreme pornography has had his jail term slashed by Court of Appeal judges.

Keith Livesey gave police his laptop, which was found to contain more than 300 images - including five videos - all featuring banned material.

The 56-year-old, of Bisham Close, Darwen, was jailed for 14 months at Preston Crown Court in June, after admitting three counts of possessing extreme pornographic images.

But, at a hearing in London, his sentence was cut to just four months, with three of the country's most senior judges saying the original term was 'too long'.

The court heard Livesey handed over his laptop to police and told them what they would find on it after they went to his house for an unrelated matter in October last year.

He told officers he had sought out images once or twice a week when he was working away from home.

Sentencing him, the crown court judge said some of the women in the images looked as though they were being exploited and that a trade in such images was only possible because of men like him who who downloaded them for pleasure.

The court heard Livesey was a hard-working man, of previous good character, who was remorseful and ashamed and his family was shocked by his behaviour.

His lawyers argued his sentence was over the top, given that he didn't pose a danger to anyone and was not likely to reoffend.

Franco Tizzano, for Livesey, said his family had arranged for him to have specialist therapy at The Priory, which would further reduce any risk that he might download such images again.

The barrister added: "If there was ever a case where the clang of the prison gates itself would have been deterrent enough, bearing in mind the appellant's remorse, then this was it."

Allowing his appeal, Mr Justice Lewis said the circumstances of the case justified an 'element of leniency'.

Sitting with Lord Justice Davis and Mr Justice Keith, he added: "In our judgment, the sentence in the present case was manifestly excessive.

"Even though the number of extreme images involved was large and the appellant had deliberately sought them out, he had no previous convictions, was of good character and had demonstrated remorse for his actions."