A Prestatyn man was found to have literally thousands of indecent images and films on his computer.

There were so many that many had not been categorised, Mold Crown Court was told today (Thurs).

Defendant James Moran admitted making by downloading 18,186 images and 99 movies - 220 at the most serious category A and some of which involved particularly young children.

More than 17,000 were at the least serious category C.

Prosecuting barrister Ryan Rothwell said that a further 293,800 images and films had been found but because of the sheer number they had not been categorised.

Moran, aged 53, of Ceg y Ffordd in Prestatyn, received a 14 month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with 60 days rehabilitation and 200 hours unpaid work.

He was placed on the se. register for ten years and a ten year sexual harm prevention order was made to control his use of the internet in future.

Judge Niclas Parry said that the serious aggravating feature of the case was that by his actions he had been promoting the sexual abuse of young children for a period of some nine years.

Among “the thousands and thousands” of images about 200 at the most serious category.

Some of the children involved in the images and films were extremely young and vulnerable - little more than babies who were actually experiencing extreme sexual abuse.

“You were clearly looking for images of very young children,” the judge told him.

His greatest mitigation was his guilty pleas at the earliest opportunity and his immediate co-operation with the police.

He was a man of good character who was a low risk of re-offending.

“You now accept that your thinking can only be described as distorted and you need to address serious issues,” Judge Parry told him.

He had already started to do that voluntarily.

The judge said that he took the view that there was a real prospect of rehabilitation in his case which was why he had decided to suspend the sentence.

Prosecutor Ryan Rothwell said that police received intelligence of illicit on-line activity at his address and a search warrant was executed on November 14.

The defendant initially denied being responsible but later when he was alone he said it was him and he volunteered his laptop saying “it is all on there”.

In his first interview, before the images had been found, he sought to minimise his interest in children and described them as just professional studio photographs.

He said that while he watched adult porn he denied that there would be any images of child sex abuse.

After the images were discovered he was interviewed a second time and denied creating a hidden file entitled “more work” which contained images.

He said he was shocked at the number and seriousness of the images.

The examination showed that he had used peer to peer software and he had visited such sites as “jail bait gallery”.

He said that he had purchased a hard drive from a car boot sale - but it was pointed out that the images post-dated his purchase.

The children in the images were said to be aged between six months and 17 years.

Defending barrister Nicholas Williams said that it was a stark choice between a relatively short prison sentence, of which he would serve half, and supervision and treatment in the community to address his offending behaviour.

It was accepted that his case had a number of aggravating features - the large number of images, the nature of some of the images, the young age of some of the children, and the period of time over which it had taken place.

His offending had “become entrenched” and it was clear that he, and society, would benefit from structured, long term intervention.

There was every prospect of rehabilitation in his case.

He was willing to address his offending behaviour, had been in touch with the Lucy Faithful Foundation, and had joined its self-help group “stop it now”.

But one to one work through the probation service was required.

If he went to prison he would lose his job - he was currently suspended - and there was a possibility his family would lose their home.