A MAN caught with nearly 23,000 indecent images of children on his computer equipment has been sent to prison for 30 weeks.

Richard Crossman, formerly living near Wrexham and now living near Chester, also downloaded extreme pornography during a six-year period.

Judge Rhys Rowlands said Crossman, 50, was “an extremely isolated individual” who had spent “a large amount of time in front of a computer screen”.

He told Crossman to sign on the sex offenders register for 10 years and added: “These are disturbing offences because of the appalling nature of some of the images and you accessed an extremely large number of images.”

Judge Rowlands also imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order on Crossman.

The images were uncovered when police went to Crossman’s former home near Wrexham to execute a drugs warrant and seized a laptop and two storage cards.

Barrister David Mainstone, prosecuting, told Mold Crown Court said officers found 21 category A images, 45 of category B and 22,834 category C images on the equipment.

Crossman claimed he thought the images were legal and he had not viewed the bulk of the images he had downloaded.

But Mr Mainstone added: “There were clearly files on the computer that were strongly linked to these types of images, such as 'pre-teen'.

“There was evidence that he had obtained many of the files from bit torrent which is a file sharing site,” said Mr Mainstone.

Crossman, of Thornton-le-Moors, near Elton, admitted three counts of making indecent images of children and one of possession of extreme pornographic material with all the offences committed between 2011 and 2017.

Defence barrister Oliver King asked for the judge to consider suspending Crossman’s sentence.

He said: “There is always a danger of people being drawn to this type of perverted material because of their isolation and they become convicted and become further isolated by society.

“These people should not isolated any further by putting them into the company of people with these perverted ideologies.

“He has a very good employer who wants him to remain part of his team.

"He is motivated to tackle his problem and he knows he has an addiction to this.”