A PERVERT caught with more than 50,000 photos of children being abused worked at a school - as a child protection officer.

Sean Jamieson's sick haul of pictures and films was found in a hire car he used while on holiday in New Zealand last year.

He was a deputy headteacher at a school in Thailand - and also its child protection officer, The Northern Echo has learned.

Jamieson, 47, dodged jail after a judge at Teesside Crown Court heard that he wants help for his warped obsession.

He was given a community order with three years of supervision and was told to go on a sex offenders' treatment programme.

Judge Tony Briggs also imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which restricts Jamieson's future computer and internet use.

The court heard how a computer hard-drive was left in the car when Jamieson returned it after a month-long solo trip in October 2013.

When it was examined by Kiwi police, more than 52,000 pictures of children - some as young as four - being abused were found.

There was also a collection of downloaded sick films involving children as well as extreme pornography involving animals.

The judge said: "It is sad to see a person of 47, of previous good character, before the courts, particularly for offences of this nature.

"It is sad to say that one frequently encounters images of even more depravity than the ones we are concerned with today.

"However, in your case, there has been a significant quantity of material and that's a feature I must take into account."

Robert Mochrie, mitigating, said Jamieson, of Middlesbrough Road, South Bank, Middlesbrough, was keen to go on the treatment course.

"This is a man who fully recognises that he has a problem and has expressed a willingness to engage with those who are in a position to help him," he added.

"He made full and frank admissions to the police in interview . . . he pleaded guilty prior to any evidence being served."

Jamieson admitted charges of making indecent photographs of children and possessing extreme pornography at an earlier hearing.

In an interview with police, he said he had downloaded downloaded so many photos he had never had a chance to look at them all.

Police in New Zealand contacted their counterparts in the North-East and Jamieson was arrested at his parents' home in Thornaby, Stockton.

He said he did get some sexual gratification from the images, but looked at most of them out of "fascination and interest".

Judge Briggs told him: "What you had to say was remarkably frank. The another matter of considerable importance is that you recognise your difficulty and you are taking steps to make sure that you don't commit of this nature again."