A MARRIED dad "lost everything" when his wife discovered his secret life as a paedophile.

But Anson Antcliff did not lose his liberty after a judge heard he stopped hoarding child abuse pictures before police raided his home, and has since sought help for his "warped" thinking.

Antcliff was said to have been addicted to pornography from an early age.

The 50-year-old's obsession grew over the years and led to him downloading videos and photographs of children being abused between October 2016 and March 2017, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Last March, police went to his home in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, and seized eight devices – laptops, mobile phones and hard-drives – and found his sick collection.

Prosecutor Paul Newcombe told the court that 67 videos and pictures had been stored, and Antcliff had been in an internet chat room encouraging other paedophiles to share images with him.

Antcliff, who now lives on Merseyside, admitted three charges of making indecent images of children, and was given a ten-month suspended prison sentence.

He was also put on the sex offenders' register for ten years, and given a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order to restrict his use of computers and the internet.

A 50-day rehabilitation activity requirement was also imposed, so Antcliff can work with the Probation Service to continue the work he has already started to tackle his problem.

Judge Sean Morris told him: "Understand this. If you ever are caught getting access to this kind of material again, you will go to prison."

Abbi Whelan, mitigating, said Antcliff has been working one-to-one with a counsellor since his arrest, and reading self-help books.

Miss Whelan told the court: "He has already effectively lost everything – his marriage, his home, his family unit and his job."

Judge Morris told Antcliff, now of Elm Road, Prenton, the Wirral: "You started from a very early age watching pornography, which, no doubt, over time warped your sense of what's right and what's wrong.

"You had stopped before you were arrested, and that matters. It shows that you had slowly gained an insight into what you were doing and that it had to end.

"You have lost your wife, you have lost your job and you have lost your self-respect.

"It is going to be a long haul back."