A former choirmaster who spent more than a decade collecting hundreds of indecent images of children has avoided jail.
David Bradford, 50, was found in possession of 1,659 photographs and videos of children on devices at his home in Macclesfield, a court heard.
Among his hoard, which he downloaded between 2002 and 2016, were 25 Category A images, the most severe.
There is no suggestion that any of the victims were local.
Bradford, of Slater Street, Macclesfield, admitted possessing indecent photographs of a child, three charges of making indecent photographs, possessing extreme pornographic images, and possessing nine prohibited images of children at Stockport magistrates’ court on September 4.
At Chester Crown Court on Monday, October 16, he was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for two years.
He must also complete 200 hours unpaid work.
Bradford, who had worked as choirmaster of St Peter’s Church in Prestbury’s girls’ choir, must sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years and is subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Bradford for sacked from the role with the church on his arrest in December last year.
At a previous hearing at Stockport magistrates’ court, Carl Miles, prosecuting, said the offences related to images downloaded between January 26, 2002 and December 23, 2016.
He said: “Information was passed to the police regarding an IP address which was traced to the defendant’s home address. Officers searched the address and seized a number of electrical devices. These were examined and a substantial number of images were recovered.
“These include 25 category A images. For example one image featured a girl estimated to be around four years old. Videos were also recovered as well. 66 of the images were classified as Category B, and 1,568 as Category C.”
After his guilty plea, the Rev Patrick Angier, vicar of St Peter’s, said: “St Peter’s has for many years followed strict and robust policies and procedures to safeguard the children and young people in its care, including full DBS checks for adult leaders. Our thoughts and prayers are with the children who are the victims of this abuse.”