A 55-year-old man who worked for a pupil referral unit has resigned and been given a 10-month suspended prison sentence after he was caught with “monstrous” indecent images of children.

Daniel Clark was found with 1,640 pictures taken from the internet when he was arrested in March last year - with some of the children involved as young as two or three.

The court heard Clark, of East End, East Bergholt, resigned from his position at a pupil referral unit, which is alternative education for children who cannot attend mainstream schools, upon his arrest.

He was found with 961 category A images, which are the most extreme kind of child pornography, and pleaded guilty to the possession of indecent images in April this year.

The police found search history for indecent images of children dating back as far as 2008 and he had even been making searches on the day of his arrest.

Clark said he was “horrified with the person he had become”, according to defence barrister Peter Spary.

Ipswich Crown Court heard he lives with his elderly mother without a wife or children and was a cabinet maker for 30 years before joining the pupil referral unit.  

Mr Spary said the defendant’s desire for the images had been fuelled by an addiction to pornography and loneliness, but added that was no excuse.

“He is looking after his mother and is keen to make sure this never happens again. There are numerous reasons why he can and will be rehabilitated,” Mr Spary added.

Judge Emma Peters gave Clark a 10-month prison sentence suspended for two years, 180 hours of community work, 40 rehabilitation days and 12 months of mental health treatment for his depression and anxiety.

Describing the offences as "monstrous", she said: “There are so many men who stand in my dock charged with these offences.  

“It’s people like you who fuel the trade in these images. If it weren’t for people like you there wouldn’t be people providing the food for people to feast on it. These children’s lives are ruined.

“The children here are very young and subject to dreadful abuse and some of them show discernible pain in these photos.

“These photos create misery for children all around the world.”