A man caught with more than 4,000 indecent images of children had a “morbid fascination” with child abuse
Lewis Newton’s lawyer told a court that the 29-year-old had issues with alcohol, loneliness and isolation.
Newton dodged prison after a judge heard he realises the youngsters in the pictures and videos are real people, and has victim awareness.
Police went to Newton’s home in Sutton Under Whitestoncliffe, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, and seized a computer and hard-drive.
There was indecent material on both devices, with the images on the hard-drive “live and accessible” and stored in folders, prosecutor Christopher Baker told TeessideCrown Court.
The photos and videos on the Windows PC were no accessible, and were recovered from the recycle bin or “unallocated disk space”.
Mr Baker told Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, QC, that when the movies were deleted, they fragmented and created an “artificially high” number.
In total, there were 4,391 pictures and films – more than 1,200 in the most serious category in law.
Mr Baker said: “Also noted were key-word searches, linked to the search for indecent images. There were junk lists linked to indecent images which showed files had been opened recently.”
Newton admitted three charges of making indecent images and possessing extreme pornography – 56 short clips of bestiality – when he was about to go on trial, having denied them until the last minute.
Robert Mochrie, mitigating, said the mechanic had minimised his crimes, but told Judge Bourne-Arton: “He has acknowledged he has developed an increasingly morbid fascination with images of this nature. He went out of his way to see what else was out there.
Newton was given a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with 40 days, rehabilitation activity, and a ten-year sexual harm prevention order to restrict his computer use.
Judge Bourne-Arton told him: “You say you found it by accident and inadvertently. You were looking for it for sexual gratification.”