A married man who downloaded indecent images of children onto his laptop over a five year period was jailed for eight months on Friday.
The material downloaded by Thomas Callow, 68, of Clay Bank, South Kyme included images of babies and toddlers being abused.
Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence at Lincoln Crown Court told Callow: “It must have been immediately obvious to you that looking at images of this type was vile and wrong.
“Every image you looked at shows a real, living child somewhere in the world being horrifically abused.
“Those who produce these images do so only because there is a market. You played your part, a small part, to provide that market.
“You clearly had an interest in children and you were not just looking for reasons of idle curiosity. Your remorse and shame comes from your public humiliation at being exposed.
“This offending is at an epidemic level. Those who access these images in the numbers you were accessing will receive custodial sentences.”
The judge said a jail sentence had to be imposed despite describing Callow as “having spent a life in industrious work” which included a quarter of a century working for the Rank Organisation.
Callow admitted six charges of making indecent images of children on dates between 2012 and 2017 and a further charge of possession of extreme pornography.
He was jailed for eight months and given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.
Phil Howes, prosecuting, said that Callow was arrested after police carried out a search of his home in South Kyme in July 2017.
Two laptops were taken away and checks revealed they contained a total of 225 indecent images of children including 113 which were classified in the most serious category.
Images of children as young as three months old being abused by adult men were among the material found.
Mr Howes said: “The defendant was interviewed and made frank admissions. He accepted he had gone onto chatrooms and people had sent him images. He said he knew it was wrong.
“He would pretend to be somebody else on chatrooms. He would pretend to be a child and would talk about sex to people he assumed were adults. He said he had never hurt a child.”
Neil Sands, in mitigation, said: “He is 68 years of age. He has led an entirely law-abiding and productive life until this.”
He said that after being arrested Callow handed in his resignation from his current job.
Mr Sands urged that Callow should not be given an immediate jail sentence adding that his client entered an early guilty plea and has fully co-operated with police.