Almost 3,000 indecent pictures of children found at scrap man's home
SCRAP metal dealer John West was caught with nearly 3,000 indecent images of children after he became "obsessed" with them and got "hooked" on looking at them, a court heard.
West, 49, of Cotswold Drive, Waltham, admitted 17 offences involving making or possessing child pornography, possessing them to show to others, possessing banned images of children and possessing extreme pornography, including acts with a horse and other animals.
Mark Kendall, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that police executed a search warrant at West's home on September 29 last year.
A total of 2,948 images, including movies, were found. West had downloaded them from a website and 945 were available to be shown to others. Richard Butters, mitigating, said West had suffered an "absolutely awful" few years and claimed he was an "utterly broken man".
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Police originally found a gun and ammunition, kept by him for about 20 years after his 18-year service in the Territorial Army, and he was given a 16-month prison sentence, later reduced to six months on appeal.
He served about two-and-a-half months in prison and was released in May after the appeal.
West claimed he had seen "some dreadful things" during his Territorial Army service, particularly in Afghanistan, and claimed that he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.
He became "hooked" on child pornography and it became a "habit", sometimes while he was in the same room as his wife.
"He knew he had to stop," said Mr Butters. "It was like a drug habit."
Judge David Tremberg told West: "You became addicted to these images and obsessed by viewing them."
West was given a three-year supervision order, including a sex offenders' programme, and a three-month 7pm to 7am curfew.
He was banned from working with children for life and was given a five-year sexual offences prevention order. He must register as a sex offender for five years.