A former hospital worker amassed a shocking library of almost 128,000 vile child abuse images in a 10-year secret “addiction”.
Kevin Hatt, 55, exchanged disturbing images with other paedophiles and confessed to watching “live child abuse over the internet”.
The one-time “pillar of the community” was caught with more than 164 hours of child abuse videos at the worst level.
The private world he hid from his oblivious family came to light when Cleveland Police learned he had been communicating with paedophiles.
He confessed to downloading pictures of child abuse when officers found him at home in front of two laptops on October 17, 2018.
In total, 127,866 indecent images of children were found when police seized 16 devices from his Stockton home, Teesside Crown Court heard.
They included 6,727 “category A” images, the most severe category in law, depicting children aged from eight months to 10 years old.
The pictures showed acts of rape and children who were “drugged or intoxicated” or “clearly in horrendous pain and distress”.
Prosecutor Paul Abrahams said more than 1,000 category A films added up to over 164 hours, the longest being a two-hour video.
Chat logs revealed Hatt had been talking online about child abuse using the name “douggie dread”, discussing images “in an explicit way”.
He sent images to two paedophiles. One, identifying himself as “boylover”, is now serving a 10-year jail term for child sex offences.
In police interview, Hatt owned up to watching child abuse for some 10 years, building up the catalogue of sickening material.
Hatt, of Greenfields Way, Stockton, admitted three charges of making and three of distributing indecent images of children, and one of possessing a prohibited image of a child, between 2010 and 2018 – his first conviction.
The judge said Hatt “led a double life” without his family’s knowledge: “I imagine their shock at the discovery of what had been going on for so long.
“More’s the pity that you’ve also had a distinguished career in your chosen profession, performing an important job in local hospitals.”
He took into account Hatt’s remorse, shame, previous good character and the impact on his family and his health.
But the judge said he could not suspend the sentence, as urged by the defence, given the number and gravity of the indecent images collection.
Hatt was jailed for three years.
He was given a sexual harm prevention order governing his use of electronic devices and will be on the sex offenders’ register, both indefinitely.
Hatt previously worked for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It was understood he worked at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton as an operating department practitioner.
After an earlier hearing, the trust confirmed Hatt no longer worked for the organisation.