A Glossop man has been jailed for 18 months for possessing more than 2,000 indecent images of girls as young as two.
Steven Rowland admitted ten charges of downloading and distributing indecent photos and films of children and one count of having extreme pornographic films of women having sex with dogs and horses.
When police searched the 48-year-old’s home, on St Mary’s Road, they found 2,954 illegal images and films in total, including 837 which were graded with the most serious classification for such material.
Derby Crown Court heard last Thursday, that when two officers arrived to search his address on November 13, Rowland told them to “give him ten minutes” as he needed to “get rid of some stuff”.
Six hundred and fifty five films and 2,231 indecent images were found on his hard drive and 64 images and four films were found on his laptop of girls aged two to 16, dating from July 2011.
Prosecutor Sarah Slater said the defendant had shared images online through instant message service Yahoo Messenger, after sourcing them in chatrooms and pornographic websites.
She said: “He started with female adults and moved onto children. Some had been saved the day before police arrived.”
Richard Dewsbury, defending, said after “initially panicking”, his client had led police to the right drives on his computer and made full and frank admissions.
He said: “After a split from a long-term partner, and despite an outwardly successful career, he found himself drinking, in significant debt and spiralling into depression. He was ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’, spending all his social time alone at home on the internet.
“He started to save, collect and swap images with others. He became caught up in what he himself called ‘almost a game’ where instead of online gambling,which he could no longer afford, he now was dealing in illegal material.”
Mr Dewsbury added that being caught was a relief for Rowland, who now felt remorse and shame, as it saved him from “a decline into depravity”.
He told the judge that Rowland had distributed images on an “ad hoc and small scale” and that no money had exchanged hands and that he had not been involved in the production or solicitation of images.
Recorder Michael Elsom took into consideration Rowland’s previous good character and remorse, but said he was unable to suspend a prison sentence for his offences.
He was also ordered to pay a £100 statutory surcharge and made subject to a ten-year sexual offences prevention order.