An Ipswich man who became obsessed with child porn and downloaded more than 40,000 images has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send him straight to prison.
Nigel Nessling told police he initially saw an image of an eight-year-old girl and thought she was “pretty and cute” and became obsessed with viewing indecent images of children over a period of seven or eight years, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
“He said he needed to find more material to grow his collection and gained a thrill from forbidden fruit,” said Michael Crimp, prosecuting.
The court heard that police officers went to Nessling’s home in Larchcroft Road, Ipswich, on April 11 and seized items including two laptops, a hard drive and a tower unit.
When the equipment was analysed it was found to contain 804 still and moving images in the most serious level A category, 818 still and moving level B images and more than 40,000 still and moving images in the lowest level C category.
There were also 3,000 prohibited images of children,.
Nessling, 59, admitted three offences of making indecent images of children and possessing prohibited images of children.
He was given a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work in the community.
He was also ordered to take part in a 35 day rehabilitation activity programme and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for ten years. He was also made the subject of a
sexual harm prevention order.
Sentencing Nessling, Judge David Goodin said: “You plainly have it in you to be a decent, responsible member of society.”
He told Nessling, who is a father and a grandfather with no previous convictions, that the offences he had committed clearly crossed the custody threshold.
However, he felt able to pass a suspended sentence because he had admitted the offences at an early stage and there was sufficient prospect of rehabilitation in his case.
Roger Thomson, for Nessling, said his client had taken part in a course to address his offending behaviour and was determined to put what he had done behind him.
He said Nessling had a good work record and was taking anti-depressants.