A former soldier was found to have amassed a depraved collection of child sex photos when police went to his home in Houghton Regis and seized his computer.
Kevin Crump’s collection of young children being sexually abused ran to 45,896 images he had downloaded from the internet.
At Luton Crown Court, Crump, who was living with his wife in Stubbs Close when police arrived, pleaded guilty to six offences of making indecent photos of children, three of possessing indecent images of children, possessing an extreme pornographic image, and one offence of possessing prohibited images of children.
Daniel Siong, prosecuting, said it was 7am on February 16 last year when police arrived at the defendant’s home.
Judge Philip Bartle heard that when officers told Crump it was believed someone at the address had been using file sharing software to download images, he replied: “Everything you said is true, it looks like I am going to prison for a long time.” Computer equipment was seized and the sick material was discovered.
The 53-year-old made a full and frank admission to the police, saying he had hidden the material on his computer so that his wife wouldn’t find it.
He admitted he would download it and tend to look at the material when his wife wasn’t home. Some of the children pictured were as young as one year old.
Charlotte O’Connor, defending, said Crump had served 22 years in the armed services and had served with the UN and NATO in war-torn regions around the world.
She said Crump, who is an IT manager, had taken steps himself to address his behaviour and had attended a counselling course.
The court was told the defendant’s wife was sticking by him.
Miss O’Connor said: “He tells me that in a way the police arriving on his doorstep is one of the best things that happened because he has been able to break the cycle.”
She said since the police raid last year, Crump and his wife had gone to live in South Yorkshire so he could care for his elderly parents.
“He wants to put this behind him,” said the barrister.
Judge Bartle said Crump had lost his job, but had taken the unusual step of seeking help. “You were in the army for 22 years and you served in some very difficult areas of the world and you were witness to the terrible atrocities which regrettably soldiers see during the course of their lives in the services.”
Crump was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment suspended for two years. He was placed under the supervision of the probation service for the same period.
He was told he must attend a sex offenders programme and he will also be the subject of a sexual offences prevention order for the rest of his life.