A 58-year-old man found with more than 3,000 child porn images on his computer confessed his crimes to his wife as he was led away by police.
Charles Greene, of Chestnut Rise, Bushey, received a ten-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after admitting 14 counts of making indecent images of children and two of possession.
St Albans Crown Court heard on Monday how Greene had been arrested at his home on the morning of September 22.
As he was seized he reportedly said to his wife: “I have been arrested for downloading images of children.”
On Greene’s computer investigators discovered a total of 3,747 images and several movies. Most were at the lower end of the severity scale but 17 were rated as the most serious sexual images of children.
Greene told police that “curiosity” had led him to download the images. He was given a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
Judge Stephen Gullick said: “You have no previous convictions and had the good sense to plead guilty at the magistrates’ court.
“It is quite apparent from the report I have read that you know you have done wrong and are remorseful.”
He added: “There are victims in the sense that young girls are abused for the purpose of images being taken so that you and others can download them.
“This package of orders is to rehabilitate you and prevent you committing such offences again.”
Greene must attend the sex offenders’ treatment programme while supervised by probation. He must also sign the sex offenders register and pay £425 in costs.