A PAEDOPHILE who admitted possessing and making thousands of indecent images and videos of children escaped jail today.

Terence Ludgate, aged 47, of Rydal Grove, Runcorn, was arrested as part of a police investigation, Warrington Crown Court has heard.

His wife answered the door when officers called at an address where surveillance equipment traced him viewing the material and she told them he no longer lived there.

Police arrested him at his current address on January 27, 2014 and found indecent images on his computer laptop, CDs and a mobile phone.

Ludgate admitted possessing indecent images of children, three charges of making indecent images, two offences of possessing extreme pornography and one charge of distributing indecent images when he appeared at Runcorn Magistrates Court on July 1, 2015.

Mandy Nepal, prosecuting, told Warrington Crown Court today that 29 videos and one image were classified category A, nine images and eight videos were category B and 9,704 images and seven videos were classified as category C.

He also had 22 extremely pornographic videos and one image.

She said: “In a police interview, he said he was ashamed of his behaviour and actions.

“He said: ‘I’m very sorry. I’ve never been so wrong in my life. I’ve never been so scared.’”

Sentencing him, Judge Nicholas Woodward said: “You have pleaded guilty to a number of offences involving child pornography images which you have been viewing on the internet.

“These relate to boys and girls aged eight to 12 years of age.

“Clearly you have had a sexual interest in children. Now you have been found out.

“You are deeply ashamed of what you did and very remorseful.

“You are a person of previous good character.”

He sentenced Ludgate to a total of eight months suspended for two years.

He gave him a supervision order for two years and ordered him to complete a sexual offenders’ programme.

He placed him on the sexual offenders’ register.

He was ordered to pay £340 costs and his seized computer equipment will be destroyed.