A man has been convicted of having more than 15,500 indecent images of children, including some described as the worst that officers had ever seen.
Steven Maddock, aged 63, was using the dark web and accessing sites which shared and distributed the illegal images, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told. After he was arrested, officers seized a computer from his home in Skip Lane, Walsall and found the images.
Maddock admitted making indecent images and possessing extreme pornography and prohibited images at an earlier hearing. His offending is believed to have taken place between 2016 and 2018 and included 4,202 images in the most serious category.
The images, involving children aged between one and 14, were stored in a folder on his computer marked as 'music collection'. Detective Constable Emma Simpson, who investigated the case, said:
"These images were some of the worst that have been viewed by our experienced officers. The content was extremely disturbing and upsetting for those involved in the investigation.
"Right until the last minute Maddock didn’t take any responsibility for his actions instead saying his account was hacked, but our extensive forensic work was able to disprove his claims.
"It is satisfying to know that another perpetrator, using the online world to obtain such images, has been apprehended, convicted and sentenced."
Maddock was sentenced on Tuesday 8th October to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, given a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and put on the sex offenders register for 10 years.