A Boston man who amassed a collection of thousand of illegal images after becoming addicted to downloading child abuse images was jailed at Lincoln Crown Court on Friday.
Howard Angel was arrested after police raided his home and took away a laptop computer.
Tony Stanford, prosecuting, said that the following day Angel went to Grantham Police Station and confessed.
“He said he had been stupid. He was interviewed. He was relatively frank. He said he wanted help.
“He said ‘I shouldn’t have done it but I did’. He said he became addicted and hooked on it.”
Mr Stanford said that later Angel’s then wife handed police a second laptop which she found in the attic.
When police examined the two laptops they found that Angel had been accessing child abuse images for nine years.
A total of 16,944 illegal images of children were on the devices including 2,641 in the most serious category.
Angel, 59, of Wyberton West Road, Boston, admitted three charges of making indecent images of children between March 2010 and May 2019.
He was jailed for 10 months and given a 15 year sexual harm prevention order. He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.
Recorder Charles Falk, passing sentence, told him: “What tips the balance here is the length of time you have been offending which is nine years.
“That and the fact that this is a very large collection makes this a case that is so serious that only immediate custody can be justified.”
Michael Cranmer-Brown, in mitigation, said that Angel had lost everything as a result of what he did.
“When this came to light his world was turned upside down. He had been in a marriage for over 20 years. He has children. He has effectively been rejected by them all.
“He has been kicked out of his family home and he is now divorced from his wife. In addition he has suffered the loss of his job. Having disclosed to his employer about his conviction he has been sacked.”
Mr Cranmer-Brown said that since his arrest Angel has sought help and urged that he should not receive an immediate prison sentence.