A 64-year-old Suffolk man who downloaded more than 5,000 indecent images and videos of children told police “I think I’m in a lot of trouble” when he was arrested, a court has heard.

Police seized computer equipment from Anthony Goodwin’s home in June 2020 and when it was analysed it was found to contain more than 700 extreme pornographic images and videos as well as the indecent images of children, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Goodwin, of Seago Street, Lowestoft, admitted three offences of making indecent images and videos of children, possessing prohibited images of children and possessing extreme pornographic images and videos.

He was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to do 180 hours' unpaid work and given a 40-day rehabilitation activity requirement

He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years, ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for the same period and ordered to pay £340 costs.

Sentencing Goodwin, Judge David Pugh said that some of the children in the images and videos were under three and showed visible signs of pain and distress.

“This isn’t a victimless crime. The reason that these children are abused in this way is because of people like you,” said the judge.

Juliet Donovan, prosecuting, said Goodwin had a total of 612 indecent images and 142 videos in the most serious level A category, 661 still images and 57 videos in category B and 3,640 still images and 58 videos in the least serious level C category.

There were also 614 extreme pornographic images and 174 extreme pornographic videos and 137 prohibited images of children.

The court heard that when he was arrested Goodwin told officers: “I think I’m in a lot of trouble.”

Alexander Bunzl, for Goodwin, said his client had no previous convictions and was deeply ashamed of what he’d done.

He said the offences were committed after the death of Goodwin’s wife when he was isolated and lonely.

He read out a letter written by Goodwin in which he apologised for his part in “perpetuating a vile trade”.

He said that since his arrest he had attended sex addicts anonymous and received assistance from the prevention of child sex abuse charity, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.

He said he had also made monthly donations to Childline and Bernardo’s charities.