A DEPRAVED Isle of Wight pensioner caught with hundreds of indecent images of children being sexually abused — including some of the most extreme kind and children as young as one year old — avoided being sent to jail when he was sentenced on Friday.

Raymond Johnson, 73, formerly of Sandown Road, Lake, and now of High Street, Wootton, admitted three counts of making indecent photographs of children, between April 16, 2015, and May 1, 2019.

It was revealed at the Isle of Wight Crown Court he had previously been jailed twice, for a year at a time — both times for indecent assault. He was jailed in 1990 and 1994, and both matters were 'historic' offences at the time of sentencing.

His most recent offences comprised 205 images of Category A — the most extreme kind — as well as 302 of Category B and 579 of Category C. The numbers had been reduced on the charges following a further investigation, but he was told it would not make a material difference to his sentence.

He also admitted possessing printed images of children, of a sexual nature, and possessing extreme pornographic images of children, between December 13, 2017, and May 1, 2019.

Johnson, who works as a long-distance lorry driver, had been caught after police received information which led them to him.

He had four devices, all containing child sex abuse images and internet search history.

Prosecuting, Richard Tutt, said aggravating factors were Johnson's previous convictions, the age and vulnerability of the victims, the period of time he possessed the images, the high volume of material, the deliberate and systematic searching of images, and the large number of different victims.

For Johnson, Elisabeth Bussey-Jones said the public outrage at his offences had meant he and his wife, who was standing by him, had had to move home.

"He is feeling the weight of the punishment already. I have seen him in floods of tears. He feels deeply remorseful and his wife will suffer as a result of any prison sentence."

Judge, Recorder Malcolm Gibney, said the offences were abhorrent to right-thinking people.

He said: "It is only because people like you are prepared to access these sites, deviants are willing to abuse these children and put pictures on websites."

Johnson was deemed to need one-to-one probation.

He was given a 21-month custodial sentence, suspended for two years, and a 30 day rehabilitation requirement.

He must pay £2,500 costs.

He is subject of a ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will be on the Sex Offenders' Register for the same period.