Sunderland pensioner downloaded thousands of images and videos of child abuse
A pensioner caught with over 3,000 sickening images of children being abused claimed he had the shocking collection "to see if he could break the law".
Officers found vile pictures and movies, featuring girls as young as four, on five computer devices when they raided Derek Robinson's home in Sunderland last February.
When the 67-year old, who has no previous convictions, was asked why he had the had the illegal haul, he said "why not" and denied he had a sexual attraction to children but claimed he wanted to try to break the law.
Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court police had gone to Robinson's home on February 5 last year with a search warrant and seized two laptops, two hard drives and a kindle.
The 3,230 illegal images, which included 159 of the most serious category, were found on all five devices and included pictures as well as videos of disgusting abuse.
Mr Pallister said: "It would appear all the children involved are female and predominantly between the ages of four and eight.
"He admitted he had downloaded hundreds of illegal videos over the years.
"When asked why he stated 'why not' and denied any sexual interest in children."
The court heard Robinson was interviewed by police a second time once the number and category of videos had been examined by investigators.
Mr Pallister added: "Again, he denied sexual interest in young girls and said he had only downloaded the images to see if he could break the law."
Robinson, of The Sanderlings, Ryhope, Sunderland, admitted three charges of making indecent images of children.
Judge Stephen Earl said Robinson has been assessed as being "unlikely to re-offend" and has a good prospect of rehabilitation in the community.
The judge sentenced him to 20 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements and a £500 fine.
Robinson must sign the sex offenders register and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for the next ten years.
Brian Russell, defending, presents as a "very unhappy man, very depressed" and added: "These proceedings have resulted in his family, his children, grandchildren and his wife effectively throwing him out."
Mr Russell said Robinson has been left "isolated" and needs support.