Man obsessed with child abuse images given suspended sentence
A man "obsessed with searching for child abuse images" has been jailed for 18 months suspended for two years.
Colin David Marquardt, 57, of Barbican Terrace in Barnstaple, admitted four counts of making indecent images of children and one of possessing an image of bestiality.
He was found with at least 285,000 images when police raided his bedsit.
Marquardt was sentenced at Exeter Crown Court on Thursday. Judge Graham Cottle ordered him to attend rehabilitation.
He said: "There is no evidence you ever tried to contact children or share the images. It was simply for your own pleasure.
"You could not complain if I sent you straight to custody but that would mean you would come out as an untreated sex offender."
He added carrying out one-to-one work with the probation service "is better for the protection of the public" and children who were the targets of "the loathsome activities you were involved with".
The court heard that in interview Marquardt said he was a collector who was out of control.
Richard Crabb, defending, said Marquardt had led a normal family and working life until he was divorced and suffered a breakdown in 2006.