A former child photographer who admitted sexually touching a young boy was today jailed for five years.
Scott Derek Rudge, 29, was also found to have downloaded almost 50,000 indecent images of children from the internet.
His activity came to the attention of police in May this year when they carried out a search at an address in a village near Lincoln.
Lincoln Crown Court heard Rudge admitted what he had done when he was confronted by the police but denied he was a paedophile.
Analysis of his computer equipment showed Rudge had downloaded nearly 50,000 indecent images of children including 877 in the most serious category.
The court was told some of the images were of children aged between just two and three years old.
Rudge later told police he was concerned about child safety in his role as a child photographer and had set up an Instagram account so that such images could not be viewed by anyone else.
Further analysis of the images showed Rudge had also secretly filmed himself touching a young boy.
The recordings showed Rudge touching the boy’s chest and nipples, and fondling a more intimate area.
In a victim impact statement the boy described how he had been made to feel “angry, anxious and worthless” by the abuse.
Rudge, of no fixed address, admitted sexually touching a child and making indecent images of children. The offences occurred over a nine year period.
Michael Cranmer-Brown, mitigating, read out part of letter from Rudge which said: “I am deeply ashamed of what I have done, I regret everything.”
Mr Cranmer-Brown added: “He finds it hard to explain why he behaved as he did. When he was arrested he made immediate admissions. He said it wasn’t a mistake but he wasn’t a paedophile.
“He always had a talent in photography. He did not do well at university in his landscape design degree and turned to photography as a profession and a business.
“That is now completely lost to him, he is barred from working with children.”
Passing sentence Judge John Pini QC told Rudge he did not accept that he was not a peadophile.
The judge told him: “I do not accept that. On this evidence you clearly are a paedophile.”
Rudge was also ordered to register as a Sex Offender for life and made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.