A man showed a "fascination with violence" after posting a picture of himself on the Internet wearing a balaclava and waving a gun.

Dean Lissenden, 21, was arrested after an anonymous person sent the pictures downloaded from a website called Bebo to police in Didcot, Oxford Crown Court was told yesterday.

Lissenden admitted possession of a firearm and was in breach of his licence after being released early from jail in August last year, prosecutor Clare Tucker said.

Recorder Joanna Greenberg said: "It shows a fascination with violence.

"Some people find it attractive to pose in a way which appears to be aggressive and violent."

Terence Woods, defending, said Lissenden did not know the Walther air pistol was classed as a firearm or breached his licence conditions.

Lissenden, of Kynaston Road, Didcot, was given a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to carry out 18 hours' unpaid community work.