Ryan Leamont jailed at Inverness over indecent images
Indecent images of children were found on a man's work computer after a colleague guessed his password and logged on, a court has heard.
The colleague had planned on changing Ryan Leamont's screensaver as a joke.
Inverness Sheriff Court heard that Leamont, 39, fled to Canada after 11,893 images were found on his computer in June 2005.
He was traced in 2009 and extradited to Scotland earlier this year. Leamont has been jailed for six months.
The Canadian was also placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years. He had previously spent three months in custody in Canada.
Leamont had been working as an events organiser for Highland Council at the Nevis Centre in Fort William.
Depute fiscal Karen Smith told the court that centre staff would change each others' screen savers as a joke.
The centre manager guessed Leamont's password, having watched him type it in previously, and accessed his computer, the court heard.
He noticed suspicious website names on the computer's history file.
Ms Smith said: "His attention was drawn to the titles and abbreviated titles, the common theme appeared to be young girls.
"He saw naked pictures of young girls. One showed a disclaimer saying there were no girls over 16 on the site."
Ms Smith told the court that while the information on the work computer and a laptop were being analysed, Leamont left the country.
She said 11,893 paedophile images and three films were found.
Most were classed at the lower level of images and showed naked children.
Leamont admitted possessing the images.
Defence lawyer John Keenan said his client had undergone psychiatric counselling in his home country.
He said Leamont left Scotland because he had lost his job and was living in a small, close-knit community where people knew the background of his offending.
Mr Keenan added that his client accepted he would be jailed and planned to return to Canada following his release.
He said Leamont was a first offender assessed as a low risk of re-offending and who was also supported by his family.
Sheriff Ian Abercrombie said the case was "a difficult one" and told Leamont he was taking into account time he had already served in custody.
He added: "I take into account this was possession for personal use and there was no suggestion of manufacture, distribution or showing of the images."