Matthew Monaghan, 42, of Brighton Avenue, Blackpool, was arrested after officers carried out a routine check of his electronic devices following a previous conviction for possession of indecent images of children.
During the check, which took place last May, officers found 5,884 indecent images of children.
These included 790 images classed as category A – the very worst type – as well as 420 category B, 3,926 category C and a further 748 prohibited images.
During the investigation officers also found Monaghan had befriended a couple in Italy, who had two young children, and had travelled to Italy to stay with them for three months. He used this connection to obtain indecent images of their children.
On his return to the UK he continued to contact the children with voice messages.
The family had no idea Monaghan had previous convictions and was banned from contact with children.
He appeared at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday (May 3) to be sentenced for 11 offences in total, comprised of three counts of making indecent images of children, one count of possession of prohibited images of children and seven counts of breach of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
In total he was sentenced to 46 months in prison.
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