A church organist who lives with his blind wife and son has been spared jail after being found with more than 200 child abuse images.
Ian Farrow, 73, had 284 images on his computer at his home in Newhaven.
At Brighton Crown Court Judge David Rennie said the offences were serious enough to send the father to prison.
The court heard police became aware of Farrow’s sordid activity when his computer was flagged up to officers.
Rachel Beckett, prosecuting, told the court that police were alerted when his internet protocol address downloaded a category A indecent image of a child via the chat room website Chatstep.
He said: “Officers attended the address on February 23 last year and confirmed his wife and son lived there who were completely blind and had no access to a computer.
“The computer was seized and he accepted he was sole user of the chat room platform where users can share images.”
In interview Farrow said he copied web links from the website Gay Boys Tube and said the images were of adult age.
But search terms included a hot young cute boy.
Police found 73 category A images – the most serious type – involving sexual activity with children.
They also discovered 64 category B involving children in non-penetrative sexual activity and 147 category C involving indecent images.
Jodie Cudworth, defending, said: “He is very clear his behaviour was stupid and foolish.
“He recognises the implications of the offence on the victims.
“He is a 73-year-old man and this has had a huge rippling effect on his relationship with his wife and children.
“Farrow cares for his partially blind wife and has only one per cent vision.
“If you imprison him today the effect on his wife will mean she will need to be placed in a residential unit.
“I ask you to bear that in mind when you decide what sentence to impose on him. “He hasn’t been able to go to church.
“He is an organist and he is deeply ashamed.”
Farrow, of South Road, Newhaven, pleaded guilty to three counts of making an indecent photograph of a child and three counts of possessing indecent photographs of children.
He received a nine-month sentence suspended for 18 months and must do 40 days rehabilitation activity.