Robert Lean had hundreds of indecent images of children

A paedophile who was caught with hundreds of indecent images of children aged as young as five when police raided his house has been spared jail.

Officers discovered a USB stick containing more than 300 vile pictures and videos when they executed a search warrant at Robert Lean’s home in Callands.

Last week, the 62-year-old was ordered to carry out unpaid work after admitting three counts of making indecent images and one charge of possessing indecent images.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that police raided Lean’s house on Pendine Close on Monday, April 23 2018 – acting upon intelligence received by the National Crime Agency.

The defendant was present at the time and arrested, while officers also seized a Toshiba laptop, Samsung tablet computer and USB stick.

Under interview, Lean admitted that the USB stick contained indecent images but denied having a sexual interest in children.

Instead, he claimed that he ‘was bored and became curious’.

Analysis of these devices found a total of 339 indecent pictures and videos of boys and girls aged as young as five.

But on Wednesday, April 10, judge Neil Flewitt spared Lean a prison sentence and instead handed him 120 hours on unpaid work.

Sentencing, judge Flewitt said: “Some of these images were depicting the most unpleasant forms of abuse against children.

“I want you to understand the seriousness of your offending, because in each and every one of those images is an abused child.

“The reason these children are abused is because there is a market for these images, created by people like you who view this type of material.

“You need to think about that the next time you go onto a computer and consider searching for this type of material.

“Having been given this chance, if you do it again you will be back here and you will be going straight into custody.”

Lean, who has four previous convictions but has not been before the courts since 1993, was subjected to a sexual harm prevention order and notification requirement lasting for five years.

He was also handed a two-year community order with a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Judge Flewitt also ordered to forfeiture and destruction of the seized devices.