A man caught with more than 1,800 indecent pictures of children is not a paedophile, a judge has said.
During a nationwide police operation officers searched the home of Christopher Gilland in Walnut Close, RAF Lakenheath on October 25 last year.
Today (Wednesday), Ipswich Crown Court heard that when computers and a storage device seized were later examined, a total of 1,835 indecent images of children were uncovered.
Prosecuting, Russell Butcher said that 34 videos were also found, some depicting extreme pornography including some involving animals.
Initially Gilland, 34, had declined to answer police questions about the images but when he was interviewed again in April this year he said he had only been intending to download adult pornography and had planned to delete the child images.
Mr Butcher told the court that some of the children depicted were aged as young as two or three.
Gilland had pleaded guilty to six offences of possession of indecent images of children, one of possession of a prohibited image of a child and two of possession of extreme pornography.
Mitigating, Hugh Rowland said that Gilland had no previous convictions and the majority of the images found had been graded at the lowest level of seriousness. As a result of the case Gilland was currently unemployed.
Sentencing him, Judge John Holt told Gilland that he had read a report produced by an expert which said Gilland was a voyeur rather than a paedophile.
Judge Holt said he had also read a letter written by Gilland’s wife, who was in the public gallery during the hearing, and noted that she was supporting him.
Imposing a two year community order, Judge Holt told Gilland: “I am quite satisfied that you are not a paedophile.”
Gilland will remain under Probation Service supervision for two years and be required to participate in an Internet Sex Offenders Programme. Judge Holt ordered that the computers and storage device on which the images were found should be confiscated.