09/01/2012 20:08 GMT | Updated 09/01/2012 20:18 GMT

Robert James Barrow: Paedophile Walks Free From Court

A paedophile who amassed the largest haul of sick images of children ever recovered by the Metropolitan Police walked free from court today.

Robert James Barrow, 57, of Plaistow, East London, amassed the collection of around a million images of children from a range of sources over a 15-year period, Scotland Yard said.

Detectives believe he used the pictures for his own gratification as well as sharing them with other paedophiles.

Despite admitting a series of charges including making and possessing indecent images of children - some at Level 5, the most serious - Barrow was sentenced to a 12-month jail term suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years, issued with a three-month curfew and made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order when he appeared at Southwark Crown Court.

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, of the Met's Paedophile Unit, said: "The seizure of images from Barrow is the largest ever seen by my unit in relation to one individual.

"His activities were on an industrial scale.

"To put his collection in perspective, it would take 347 days to view the entire collection - allowing 30 seconds per image with no breaks.

"Possession of indecent images of children is not a victimless crime as each image possessed or distributed represents a child that has been sexually abused in order that the image can exist.

"The circulation of those images around the internet magnifies that abuse."