A pensioner’s sordid collection of more than 2,000 sickening pictures of young boys were discovered after he failed to pay his TV licence.
Enforcement officers arrived at Roger Sealey’s house in Holly Road, Stanway, as he was watching BBC television without paying the annual charge and a warrant had been served for them to collect the outstanding money.
Once inside, they stumbled upon hundreds of bags of underwear they believed were children’s and a number of Russian naturist DVDs.
The team raised the alarm with the police who later arrived at the address and seized Sealey’s laptop.
Analysis uncovered the images of boys aged between 11 and 15, including 95 Category A pictures which are deemed to be the most serious.
There was also 146 Category B images, 1,776 Category C and five which were classed as prohibited.
Sealey, 66, admitted three counts of possession of indecent images at a previous hearing at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.
The pensioner has a previous conviction for indecent assault in the 1970s.
Chelmsford Crown Court heard how Sealey had domestic responsibilities to look after his wife and son who has learning difficulties.
Judge Charles Gratwicke spared him an immediate prison term, opting to suspend his six month jail sentence for two years.
He must complete a sex offender’s programme, attend 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days and was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.
Judge Gratwicke said: “You did not yourself hurt these children or take these photographs but if it was not for people like you, young children would live in a far safer world than they do.
“Those who recognise people like you are around seek to satisfy your needs by abusing young children.”
Sealey was first arrested in May 2016, and the judge said it was extraordinary it had taken so long to get to court.
He warned Sealey he would be jailed immediately should be breach his order.
“If your finger does ever hang over the computer button again, you would be well advised if you press it then it will be prison for you,” he added.