A MILITARY veteran was caught with more than 2,000 illegal images of children during a police raid at his home.
David Calder had a collection of 2,204 images and movies of teenage males and females, mostly aged between 15 and 17, in sexual poses and positions.
The illegal haul, found when detectives examined a USB stick and hard-drive, were mostly of the least serious categories of their type.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 59-year-old, who has never been in trouble before, was collared when he used his own credit card to access one of the banned sites.
Judge Penny Moreland sentenced Calder, of Rothbury Road, Sunderland, to a community order with three years’ supervision.
The judge said a jail sentence could be avoided in the former soldier’s case.
She told him: “You are not only of good character, given you have no previous convictions, but you have a positive good character, given your history of military service and employment.
“I accept you genuinely desire to understand your offending and to change, and I am prepared to give you the opportunity of fulfilling that desire.
“There is no second chances for offending such as this.”
Bob Spragg, defending, said Calder has made frank admissions to probation officials and is willing to work with those who can offer him help.
Mr Spragg added: “This man has got to the age of 59 without difficulties, having served his country as a soldier and worked very hard.
“He is not someone operating underground, the reason he was traced was he put his own credit card details in.
“He was easily traceable. He thought anything involving over 16s was okay. He was wrong. If it is under 18s it is illegal.”
Calder admitted making and possessing illegal images.