A Dundee paedophile who tried to hide his online activities using specialist software was jailed on Thursday.
Paul Rudd tried to use file cleaning software and encryption to cover his trial.
But despite that police were tipped off that he had downloaded child abuse images at his address in Broughty Ferry.
A sheriff jailed him for 10 months and told him: “Only a custodial sentence is appropriate.”
Dundee Sheriff Court heard Rudd, 62, used specialist cleaning software to delete files which could not be recovered and had encrypted files making them inaccessible.
The court was told police acting on intelligence had found 2,320 still images of which 98 were category A, none of which were recoverable by police cyber crime experts.
Rudd, of Broadford Terrace, pleaded guilty on indictment that between October 18, 2015 and June 1, 2017, at 41 Broadford Terrace, he took or permitted to be taken indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children.
Defence solicitor Ian Myles said that when his stash had been discovered Rudd had co-operated fully with police.
He said: “He is a first offender and he has been forthright in providing information, he was always determined that this matter was not going to proceed to trial.
“The report says he would benefit from treatment. He meets the inclusion criteria.
“He understands that crimes such as this are worthy of a custodial sentence and that has to be looked at.
“However he has been assessed as suitable for a non-custodial sentence.”
Mr Myles added that Rudd had used the cleaning facility as a normal method of freeing up memory on his computer.
He said: “It wasn’t specifically for those files.
“He deleted a lot of stuff from his computer to clear up disc space, it wasn’t specific to this activity.
“It was used to delete everything that wasn’t essential on his computer. This is not the worst case of its sort.”
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael jailed Rudd for 10 months, placed him on the sex offenders register for 10 years and ordered his computer equipment be forfeited.
He told Rudd: “You were involved in this over a period of 20 months, there was a level of sophistication and you deleted information and encrypted files, making it inaccessible to investigating officers and impossible to recover.
“Only a custodial sentence is appropriate in this case.”