A married father attempted to take his own life after police found almost 12,000 indecent images of children on his home computer in Newchapel, Staffordshire. Christopher Gojka was spared jail by a judge at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Staffordshire Police found 362 Category A images on the machine, which they seized from his living room in October last year.
Gojka's wife and son were present during the raid. He was at work, where he was later arrested, according to the Stoke Sentinel.
"He had used various 'pre-teen' search terms to look for the images and downloaded them," said prosecuting counsel Clare Thomas.
"In interview, the defendant made full admissions to the offences and said he had been accessing the images over a long period of time," she added.
Gojka, 62, made what the judge described "genuine attempt" on his own life in May while battling depression.
He was fully cooperative with the police and has vowed to complete a programme addressing his issues.
The vast majority of the images – both still and moving – were category C, involving erotic posing rather than sexual activities.
Gojka, of Pennyfields Road in the hamlet of Newchapel, pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent photographs of children.
He received an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order placing limits on his internet use and interactions with children. He will be placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for 10 years.
Peter McCartney, mitigating, said his client was "very fortunate to retain the support of his wife" of 34 years.
Sentencing, Recorder Andrew Easteal said: "What you need to understand is the people responsible for these hideous acts against children include you. Everybody that chooses to download these images feeds the market, creates that incentive for people without conscience or care who would exploit and abuse children to make money.
"To your credit you did make full admissions and pleaded guilty immediately. Keeping in mind everything said about you and your response to this, not least what was clearly a genuine attempt on your own life, I will suspend the sentence."