A paedophile caught with more than 10,000 child sex abuse images walked free from court.
Stephen Berry’s sickening collection featured videos and photos of children being raped and molested.
He also had horrifying extreme porn which “resulted, or was likely to result in, serious injury to a person’s private parts”.
When he was arrested, the 55-year-old confessed to downloading files involving children aged between seven and 13.
But the pervert was spared prison after showing that he recognised he had a problem and was “motivated to deal with it”.
Liverpool Crown Court heard police gained intelligence that Berry was using peer-to-peer software to view illegal images.
Officers raided his flat in Upper Parliament Street, Toxteth on September 18 last year, when he was alone in the property.
Kate Gaskell, prosecuting, said they seized his mobile phone and a laptop computer, which were sent away for analysis.
On the equipment, officers recovered four Category A – the most serious category – videos of children being raped.
There was one Category B video and 10,525 Category C images, which included nine video files, of further sexual abuse.
The images were mainly of children estimated to be aged 12 to 13, but also included victims aged between seven and nine.
When interviewed by police, Berry, who has no previous convictions, admitted responsibility for downloading the files.
He pleaded guilty to three counts of downloading and one count of possessing indecent images of children.
Berry also admitted downloading 57 extreme porn images, which “portrayed in an explicit and realistic way an act which resulted or was likely to result in serious injury to a person’s private parts”.
Judge Robert Warnock said Berry downloading the indecent images represented in his view “a direct abuse of children”.
He said: “Your paedophile interest in these children does in fact promote that particular abuse, something which I doubt you had in mind when carrying out these offences.”
The judge, who noted Berry was remorseful and frank with police, added: “You were hitherto a man of positive good character. You’ve thrown that away.”
Judge Warnock said the Probation Service report was “excellent” and gave him insight into Berry’s crimes and his future risk.
He said it gave “a clear view as to the best way of protecting the public and more particularly the children to whom I’ve referred”.
The judge handed him 10 months in prison, suspended for two years, plus 150 hours of unpaid work.
He said Berry must attend a sex offenders treatment programme and a 25-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.
Judge Warnock told him to sign on the Sex Offenders Register and to comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.