A hi-fi shop owner accessed more than 3,000 indecent images of children as “escapism” while his business was collapsing.
Andrew Bruce also downloaded a step-by-step guide to grooming and child sex abuse – he claimed unintentionally.
Bruce was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court
At Leicester Crown Court, the 41-year-old was jailed for eight months.
Bruce, of Watkin Road, off Upperton Road, Leicester, admitted 10 counts of making indecent images of mainly pre-pubescent children.
Neil Bannister, prosecuting, said after the failure of Bruce’s hi-fi and video business in Loseby Lane, in the city centre, contractors refurbishing the premises discovered printed indecent images of children in a cabinet, in October 2011.
Mr Bannister said: “Various items were seized, including his mobile phone, which was analysed and showed a substantial number of indecent images – more than 3.200.”
They related to 1,815 images at level one, 273 at level two, 527 at level three, 586 at level four and 23 in the most serious category, level five.
Mr Bannister said: “They depicted very young children, including babies.”
Bruce also downloaded a 170-page manual promoting “safe and fun sex with children”.
The document gave advice where to find a child and practical steps to first physical contact.
Judge Michael Pert QC said: “It’s a step-by-step guide to having unlawful sex and recommends targeting single parents.”
Andrew Bolch, mitigating, said: “He had been downloading a substantial amount of material.
“This manual which was included in his search request for images and thereafter didn’t even open it.
“He had no intention whatsoever of committing contact offences.”
Mr Bolch said Bruce, who had no previous convictions, was assessed as being “no imminent risk” of contact crimes with children.
He said: “Most of the images are at level one (the least serious category) and of 3,000 accessed, 1,600 were already deleted from his phone.
“He had been addicted to adult porn for a time and it had grown more acute as his business began to fail and he faced financial difficulty, ending up owing £180,000.
“It strayed to more extreme indecent images of children.
“It was a means of escape from his financial problems. His attitude now is deep embarrassment, shame and remorse.
“He finds it difficult to understand his motivations but is willing to engage in treatment.”
Judge Pert said: “You have a deviant sexual interest in young children.
“The manual is to do with adults having sex with children, with tips of targeting single mothers, grooming and practicalities.
“It’s a disturbing document which colours my attitude regarding sentence.”
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