A Northampton man's collection of more than 75,000 indecent images of children was discovered after revellers at a New Year's Eve party next door caught him looking at the images, a court has heard.
Two men having a cigarette saw Martin White through a window looking at sexual images of children on his computer and reported it to police, Northampton Crown Court heard on Thursday (September 16).
Officers seized 14 devices, including a laptop, a tablet and USB sticks, after raiding the 64-year-old's home in Rothersthorpe Road - they contained more pictures and videos than could be categorised.
More than 9,700 were assessed, which included hundreds of the most serious category of children aged between four and 12 in clear distress suffering penetrative sex.
His Honour Judge David Herbert QC jailed White for a year and three months after he previously pleaded guilty to all counts, deciding against suspending the sentence because the offending was so serious.
The judge said: "These are, as you now appreciate, very serious offences that are always taken seriously by the court and these are so serious that a custodial sentence is appropriate.
"You need to understand the impact on the children you have watched being made to submit to sexual acts and penetrative acts can't be fully measured.
"It will have been significant, they have suffered greatly while you enjoyed these images to satisfy your sexual interest in young girls, some extremely young."
Victoria Rose, prosecuting, said White did not comment during his police interview but did tell officers his password after being arrested during the raid on January 22, 2019.
Of the indecent images found by investigators, 1,107 were category A, 1,086 were category B and 7,289 were category C - 266 prohibited images and one extreme pornographic image were also discovered.
However, only some of the devices were fully investigated - police estimated there were in excess of 75,000 indecent images that were not categorised.
Ammolak Singh Bains, in mitigation, said: "I asked him, 'why did you keep going back?' and it was very much similar to a gambler who has got an addiction.
"He places a bet, loses the bet, beats himself up over it and thinks it's the wrong thing to do but something triggers at the back of his head and he goes back and places another bet.
"Mr White said this was happening with him, 'I knew it was wrong and I deleted the images but because of urges I had I went back and looked at them again.'"
The defence counsel said his client is sorry for what he has done, had accepted that the children he watched were victims and was eager to get the help he needs to address his offending.
Mr Bains asked for the sentence to be suspended because of the impact jail would have on the already poor health of the defendant.
But Judge Herbert rejected the request and imposed an immediate custodial sentence and a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.
"You were in possession of thousands of indecent images of children that you had downloaded from the internet to satisfy your sexual interest in young girls," the judge told the defendant.
"There were also many videos of some length and thousands of other images.
"The fact is this was a substantial collection of indecent images, many of them videos downloaded from the internet over a period of many years."