Lancaster paedophile says getting caught by Lancashire Police was a 'weight off his chest'
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Preston Crown Court heard John Marshall had confessed that his growing interest in looking at images of youngsters had "become of concern to him."
The 70-year-old pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent photographs and one of possessing them and was made the subject of a 12-month community order by Judge Simon Medland KC.
Marshall was also ordered to complete 40 days of rehabilitation activity and given a night-time curfew until December 23.
The judge will consider whether he should be given a five-year sexual harm prevention order at a hearing on December 21.
Barrister Joseph Hart, prosecuting, said the offences came to light when police visited Marshall's home in Dallas Road, Lancaster.
In a search of the house they found "numerous" paper folders containing images of young children, together with other items. A search of his computer found more, although the vast majority were in paper form.
In total they discovered 50 indecent photographs, one of them classed as Category A, seven Category B and 42 Category C.
Mr Hart told the judge that when Marshall was interviewed he was "entirely candid" about possessing and making the images.
"In what was an unusual set of admissions he set out how his interest in such images had grown and become of concern to him," he said.
"He accepted that he had been collecting images for over five years. A weight had been lifted off his chest having been arrested."
Niamh Ingham, defending, said her client had been of previous good character, but admitted looking at the images "for a considerable time."
Judge Medland told Marshall: "For a period of time you had entertained yourself sexually by looking at images of children.
"Children are just children. They are entitled to be treated as children and not objects of sexual interest."