A Windermere man who downloaded hundreds of harrowing child sex abuse images has had a prison sentence suspended after a judge heard he was making strides to prevent repeat offending.
Robert John William Lishman, 37, was in the process of adding more illegal material to his catalogue when police came calling in February last year as they acted on intelligence.
Officers seized a USB device and two mobile phones which were found to contain more than 800 illicit still and moving pictures.
More than a third of these were classed in category A – the most serious – and some featured children aged just two years old.
Police also discovered married man Lishman‘s most recent disturbing download had begun just 24 minutes before their arrival, and was still going on throughout the arrest process.
Most images had been deleted although there were thumbnail movies which could have been activated just by being online.
Extensive online search terms were recovered and, the prosecution said, demonstrated Lishman’s intent although he claimed when arrested he accessed the material out of “curiosity” and maintained he had no sexual interest in children.
Lishman, of Birkfield Road, Windermere, admitted making indecent photographs of children, and possessing 12 extreme pornographic images showing bestiality, and two prohibited computer generated pictures.
Carlisle Crown Court heard today of his shame and that his offending occurred against a background of his life spiralling following the loss of a friend.
However, Lishman had since voluntarily sought professional help to curb his criminal conduct from both the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and Turning Leaf support service.
And the judge, Recorder Philip Grundy, said that fact meant he could suspend a 14-month prison sentence for two years although he described the stash of images as “harrowing”.
Lishman must complete a length rehabilitation requirement, sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and comply with the strict terms of a sexual harm prevention order.