A DEPRAVED paedophile used his neighbour’s internet connection to download more than 30,000 vile pictures, a court has heard.

Officers wielding a warrant called at a home in Spencer Street, Burnley, as part of an investigation into illegal internet activity concerning children – something which came as a shock to those living inside.

However it was soon established that the householder had a shared internet connection with another man living on the street, Christopher Mead.

Further enquiries were made and devices were seized from Mead’s house and over 30,000 images of children being abused were found.

In one of the worst cases, officers found a video which lasted for almost an hour.

Prosecuting at Preston Crown Court (Sessions House) Roger Brown said: “A man answered the door and was told of a search warrant – he denied any involvement. He then explained that this defendant, who lived across the road, had a router and it was set up to enable him to access internet from the address.

“PCs went to his address and he gave them access. He was told the nature of the investigation and he then became somewhat evasive.”

Mead told officers that he had a PC in his room but refused to give them the password. The devices and hard drives were seized and later analysed. In total 530 category A images were found (the worst kind) 1,015 at category B and 28,720 at category C. In addition, he possessed 65 extreme pornographic images depicting acts of bestiality.

The court heard how the content was a mixture of both pictures and videos, with children as young as seven abused in the content.

Mr Brown said that investigators were able to establish that some of the images had been downloaded as long ago as 2017 – and pictures had also been downloaded on the day officers attended.

In defence, David Toal argued that his honour Judge Simon Medland QC should step away from an immediate prison sentence as there would be more help available for his defendant in the community.

However Judge Medland deemed the offences too serious and sent the 39-year-old, who has no previous convictions, to jail for three years.

Mr Toal added: “They are disgustingly revolting images and videos I have to concede, but the point is that it never progressed to sharing, networking or contacting like-minded individuals. This literally was a defendant, perhaps an isolated defendant, in his own room accessing these types of images for his own personal consumption.

“The defendant is struggling to get his own head around the number of images and span of time over which this occurred.”

Judge Simon Medland QC said: “You show little insight or remorse.

“You are quoted as saying ‘I’m liable for being curious not responsible for anything else’ and you deny a sexual attraction to children which I simply reject, that cannot be true.

“I emphasise that these are real children who are really being abused and it stays with them for the rest of their lives.

“The age of consent is 16 and under that age people are entitled to be protect from the perverted gratification of men sitting in their own rooms. Right it is that you have not distributed any of these images, but for more than seven years you have been getting your kicks from looking at them.”