The secretary of a youth football club has been barred from working with children after he downloaded images and movies showing serious child abuse.

David Filer resigned from his voluntary post at South Molton Football Club after police raided his home and seized memory sticks containing hundreds of images.

He had downloaded them from the internet before he started working at the club and stopped accessing them as a result of the safeguarding training he received.

Filer, aged 53, of North Road, South Molton, admitted three counts of making indecent images and was ordered to attend a sex offenders treatment programme and 20 days of rehabilitation activities by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

He was also put on the sex offenders register for five years and made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the same period.

The judge told him that his conviction and registration as a sex offender will be notified to the Disclosure and Barring Service, preventing him working with children in the future.

He told Filer: “You readily admitted your responsibility in police interviews and said becoming involved with the youth section of South Molton Football Club helped you desist from your activities.”

He criticised the 16-month delay between the search of Filer’s home and in bringing the case.

He said it was unacceptable and said those investigating and prosecuting the offence may need to be better resourced.

Rachel Drake, prosecuting, said police raided Filer’s home in 2017 and seized computers and memory sticks containing 281 images and 55 movies.

These included 87 stills and 39 movies in the worst category, depicting children as young as four or five suffering serious abuse by adults.

Richard Crabb, defending, said Filer is a previous good character, has admitted his offending, and is keen to attend a sex offenders treatment course.

Mr Crabb said Filer had downloaded the images and movies over a period of 14 months some six years ago and stopped doing so of his own accord.

He has lost his job as a result of his arrest and is now doing agency work in Barnstaple.

All reference to Filer has been removed from the club’s website but he served as secretary for several years, and won the North Devon Football League’s title as Secretary of the Year in 2011.

He also helped to organise a match between the club’s youth teams and their opposite numbers from South Molton’s twin town of Bad Bevensen in 2011.

A statement from the club said: “South Molton Football Club were made aware of a police investigation into Mr Filer in April 2017. As soon as we were made aware, the club made contact with the officer dealing with the case as well as the FA and sought their advice. We were informed that Mr Filer was suspended from all football activities by The FA with immediate effect pending a police investigation.

“Mr Filer ceased to be part of South Molton Football Club in his role as secretary of the adult football team and no longer took part in any club activities.

“Mr Filer had been with South Molton Football Club for over 12 years and during that time no allegations or complaints were made to the club or to the FA. His offences have no relation to the role he had within the club. If you have any concerns regarding this case please contact the police directly.”