A judge has hit out at sentencing guidelines as he jailed a paedophile for just 23 months despite owning millions of child abuse images.
Edward Brooks, 52, continued to download horrific pictures even while serving a suspended prison sentence.
He kept the images in hard drives that he hid in a cavity wall which was discovered at his home in Minehead, Somerset, in 2016.
He was spared jail the following year for amassing the collection over a 10-year period but went on to download another 2,231 videos and images of girls as young as eight.
Judge David Ticehurst said he had wanted to jail Brooks and put him on a rehabilitation programme after his release but implied he could not do both.
He added that he wished he could make the suspended prison sentence longer. That sentence has now been activated.
Judge Ticehurst said: ‘The fact is you’d serve only half of that sentence, less the time you’ve already served [after your arrest] and the credit for your guilty plea.
‘You’d spend a few months behind bars and come out and offend again, no doubt. That is not in the public interest. What I want to do is stop you.’
His re-offending triggered his earlier 19-month prison sentence and he got another four months for the new cirmes.
An NSPCC spokesman said: ‘Behind Edward Brooks’ sickening collection of images and videos are countless children that will have suffered harrowing, traumatic and life changing abuse.
‘He has rightly been sent to prison from where he must be made to undertake an intensive programme of rehabilitation.
‘The scale of Brooks’ offending also highlights how big this twisted industry has become and the necessity for the authorities and the tech companies to work in unison to disrupt and ultimately destroy the networks that make and share this terrible content.’