A MAN was caught in possession of more than 2,500 child sex abuse images — when devices were seized at his home and a church he volunteered at.

Stephen Roberts, a retired 66-year-old, faced a judge at the Isle of Wight Crown Court on Thursday.

He admitted three offences of making indecent photographs of children — 59 of which were in Category A showing the worst and most explicit type.

Prosecutor James Kellam said Roberts memory sticks were examined by police and the images discovered.

There was no suggestion he took the photos of children himself, despite the charge of 'making' the images, but he was in possession of them.

In interview he at first denied possession and named other people he tried to pin the blame on — an act of desperation Judge Malcolm Gibney condemned as 'unattractive'.

Roberts, of Barnfield Road, Bembridge, abandoned this denial at his first appearance at the Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court, where he admitted the charges. The duration of offending was over seven years.

Franscisca Dacosta, for Roberts, said he recognised how serious the offending was and had taken steps to address it and seek help.

She said an incident happened in his childhood that possibly warped his thinking of what was acceptable sexually and had haunted his entire life.

His wife of 29 years was standing by him.

Judge Gibney said Roberts had claimed he was searching for answers about his own abuse but the fact remained he had been prepared to view abuse of children, aged between ten and early teens.

Roberts was given an eight month jail term, suspended for two years.

He must undertake 30 rehabilitation days.

He was fined £1,000, with £340 court costs.

He was made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.