Wigan magistrates heard that 2,792 indecent images of girls aged between eight and 13 were discovered on 67-year-old John Bolger’s computer after the National Crime Agency alerted the police that several indecent photos had been uploaded to the internet via an email address in his wife’s name.
Officers made the discovery after a warrant was executed at Bolger’s home on Prestbury Avenue, Winstanley.
Tess Kenyon, prosecuting, said: “In interview Mr Bolger admitted clicking on an email link and downloading five images of young girls in stockings and suspenders but said he had deleted them immediately.
“He said he was horrified to find that they had been uploaded to Google Cloud after he received an email telling him his account had been blocked.
“When the electrical items seized from his address were examined, 2,792 images of category C were located. The children in the images were aged between eight and 13.
“It was put to him in interview that the children were obviously between those ages and he accepted that he had searched on the internet for terms including ‘naughty schoolgirl pictures’.
“He stated in interview that he was deeply ashamed of his actions.”
The court heard that Bolger, who was described as a retired professional, had no previous convictions but that the offence had occurred between March 2008 and February 2012.
Ged Fraser, defending, said: “He is ashamed of his conduct and of course to find himself before the court.
“He has lost his good character which was dear to him and necessary through his working life. It is a great shame when someone of his age loses their good character.
“He has been charged with making indecent images but this refers to the uploading and as I understand it, on a Google Mail account so that documents can be accessed from different devices it stores items on a cloud-based service.
“This is what has happened on four or five occasions but when Mr Bolger realised what was happening he stopped doing that. He did not intend to distribute images on the internet.”
Bolger pleaded guilty to one count of making indecent images of children at an earlier hearing.
He was given a 12-week sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered to complete a 40-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
He was also made subject to a notification requirement, meaning he has to inform the police of any changes to his address or other personal details, for seven years and to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £80.