A paedophile tax officer kept thousands of sickening child sex abuse images and videos for three years.
John Lee had a total of 4,781 horrific images of children, 134 of which were videos of children as young as two being raped.
The sick 43-year-old, who had been an employee at HMRC for 20 years before being sacked yesterday, had also shared 14 child sex abuse images on WhatsApp and Kik messenger with a fellow paedophile.
He told the individual that he wanted to have sex with an 11-year-old he knew, and even sent him a picture of her, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Peter Hussey, prosecuting at Liverpool Crown Court, said: "All charges arose from an investigation by Merseyside Police following the execution of a warrant at his address in May last year, when police had reason to believe he had been downloading indecent photographs of children from the internet."
Lee had been keeping a library of 4,781 indecent images of children, of which 1,041 were images of child rape.
Among his vile stash were 1,006 Category B images and 2,734 Category C images.
The court heard 172 of the images were videos, which included 134 videos of child rape.
Mr Hussey told the court that he had shared the images with a user called 'Incestloverboy'.
Lee, of Dalemeadow Road, Knotty Ash, admitted three counts of downloading, one count of possessing and one count of distributing indecent images of children between July 25, 2017 and May 21, 2020.
David Birrell, defending, said a report from a psychosexual therapist states it "appears he had certain mental health issues" as a result of "work related stress" and depression.
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Mr Birrell said Lee, who has no previous convictions, is "full of remorse and shame" as well as "self loathing".
He claimed Lee was "hardworking" and had worked with the civil service for 20 years where he "rose through the ranks," adding he had a "distinguished career".
His wife of 19 years is still "standing by him" and Mr Birrell told the court that Lee had two young sons at home.
He said: "They know about this and he continues to see them through supervised contact."
Mr Birrell said Lee's risk of offending according to a pre sentence report was low.
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It is understood Lee called a helpline and completed a 10-week programme with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and paid for therapy.
The judge, Recorder Ian Unsworth, QC, said: "Whilst the images of children might have been something you fantasised about and collected in the early hours of the morning, each and every one is a real person.
"Each and every one is a victim, many of whom will have little consciousness of the horrors that have befallen them before they have even begun to walk or even begun to talk."
Lee was jailed for 32 months and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.
He must also adhere to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the same period of time.
If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 0845 30 30 900 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.
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