Pete Townshend wishes he had gone to court over his child pornography arrest.

The Who guitarist accepted a caution from the police for accessing illegal material in 2008, after he used his credit card to access a site which advertised indecent images of children for research into child abuse, but if he had the choice again he would have took the case to trial.

In an extract from his autobiography 'Who I Am: A Memoir' - which is being serialised in The Times newspaper - he reveals: ''At Kingston police station I was offered a choice, I could accept a caution and a low-profile listing for a limited period of time as a sex offender, or go to court.

''My case was too high-profile to be dealt with in any other way, despite the prevailing sense that I had been well intentioned. If I went to court I could safely tell the truth, and the truth wouldn't incriminate me, but after waiting four and a half months for my computers to be scanned I was utterly exhausted. Even though it may have done some good for the cause, I didn't think I would survive it. I wish now that I had gone to trial, but perhaps that is a foolhardy notion.''

'Pinball Wizard' hitmaker Pete replied by hand to many of the people who wrote to him offering their support in the wake of his arrest, and his partner Rachel Fuller, family and friends have always stood by him.

The 67-year-old musician also reserves special praise for his The Who bandmate Roger Daltrey for his support throughout his ordeal.

Pete said: ''Dozens of people spoke up on my behalf, but Roger was most vocal, allowing himself to get angry about the absurdity of my arrest. Clearly, his own future was at risk if I was convicted, but he went further than he needed to on my behalf. His solidarity with me, his faith in me and his rage at the injustice against me is something I will never forget.''