Sunderland adult pornography addict caught with thousands of child abuse images
An adult pornography addict caught with more than a thousand images of children as young as five being abused has kept his freedom.
Stephen Jefferson-Wright claimed he had not sought out the images deliberately, despite using search words such as "paedo".
The 61-year-old's sickening collection was discovered when police seized two hard drives from his home in Sunderland in 2018.
Newcastle Crown Court heard he confessed he was addicted to adult pornography and had downloaded shared files in blocks, which included the illegal images that he had not deliberately looked for.
However the police discovered he had used search terms commonly used by those seeking out illegal material.
Jefferson-Wright pleaded guilty to six counts of possessing indecent images of children.
Prosecutor Jenny Haigh told the court it was on July 8 2018 that police went to his home in Hendon, Sunderland, after receiving intelligence someone at the address was in possession of illegal images.
An Acer laptop was seized from his living room and it had two hard drives, which contained the illicit material.
Police discovered 1,070 illegal images, 167 of which were of the most serious type, category A, 325 were category B and 577 were category C.
A further 17,615 images were not examined and the court heard it is unclear what they were or if they were illegal or not and he was sentenced only for the 1,070.
Miss Haigh said: "The age range of what was mainly female children was between the ages of five and seven years old.
"The defendant was interviewed and said he had not deliberately downloaded them. He had downloaded shared files in blocks and some may have had indecent images of children.
"He said he had a serious pornography addiction with a large collection of pornographic material which he had collected, deleted and recently began collecting again. That was adult pornography and if he came across items hedidn't like he would delete them."
Jefferson-Wright, of St Leonard Street, Hendon, Sunderland, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years with rehabilitation and must do a sex offender treatment programme.
He must also sign the sex offenders register and be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for the next ten years.
Shaun Routledge, defending, said Jefferson-Wright has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and added there has been a significant delay in the case being resolved.
He told the court: "It's a shame, at the age of 61, he finds himself in court for any offence, especially this type of offence.
"He is remorseful and will take full advantage of the package suggested.
"There is only one video across the spectrum and it's not the dark web or hidden files or folders.
"It has affected his elderly mother. These types of offences do tend to affect not just the perpetrator but those around them, namely his mother."
The court heard the pre-sentence report said he presents a low risk.
An NSPCC Spokesperson said: “By possessing these appalling images, Jefferson-Wright helped to fuel a repulsive industry which thrives on child exploitation.
“The NSPCC is calling on the Government and tech giants to do more to prevent this material being published and shared, and to ensure it is removed when it does appear online.”