A FACTORY worker who went home in his tea break to download the biggest collection of internet child porn a police force has uncovered has been jailed for five years.
Maintenance fitter Derek Cole, 46, was obsessed with child pornography and probably downloaded tens of thousands of photos and videos, said a judge yesterday.
Cole, a father-of-one, had the biggest collection seized by Durham Police, Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said at Teesside Crown Court.
Judge Michael Taylor said: “I have had the misfortune of viewing these images, and it is the worst I have come across in my professional life.
“Any member of the public who was shown this material would be totally horrified.”
In November, Cole was convicted of 20 charges relating to possessing and distributing child porn.
Cole, of Windsor Avenue, Spennymoor, County Durham, bought a computer in 2002, and it was likely that he transferred a number of indecent images from that to a computer seized by police, which had a total of 3,706 images, including 98 at the most serious level five and 318 at level four.
Mr Newcombe said: “The material was found on the computer and on a CD in his bedroom, and he had been exchanging material with other members of paedophile groups.”
Stewart Allison, defending, said that Cole had finally acknowledged his guilt and offending to a probation officer.
Cole was jailed for five years, banned for life from using the internet – except on a public library computer or for work – and banned from unsupervised contact with children under 16.
He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life.