A man who was running a Warwickshire-based Scalextric circuit and children’s party company had worryingly amassed a collection of indecent images of children from the internet.
Bizarrely, Jonathan Sword, who also had images involving sexual torture and sex with animals, was caught after the police were called to the funeral parlour where he worked.
His bosses had been suspicious about his behaviour in the mortuary – although he faced no charges in relation to that when he appeared at Warwick Crown Court.
Sword, 54, who owned and ran the Phoenix Scalextric Circuit in Jill Lane, Studley, pleaded guilty to six charges of making indecent images of children and two of possessing extreme pornography.
He was sentenced to 16 months in prison suspended for two years and was ordered to take part in a rehabilitation activity for 50 days and to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
In addition Sword, of Southwick Road, Halesowen, West Midlands, will be barred from working with children and was ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.
Prosecutor Martin Butterworth said Sword came to the attention of the police in May while he was working for a funeral parlour, which he did not name, in south Warwickshire.
When the police spoke to Sword about the suspicions over his behaviour at the funeral parlour, they seized his computer, together with the phone he had had on him in the mortuary.
It was on the computer where the police found the images and when Sword, who had no previous convictions, was interviewed again he admitted downloading the images and building up his collection of them over the past five years.
Mark Sharman, defending, said Sword is “highly motivated to address his offending” and since his arrest he had disconnected his internet service and has sought help from the Lucy Faithful Foundation and another organisation working with sex offenders.
Sentencing Sword, Recorder Kevin Hegarty QC told him: “Having regard to the very young ages shown in the pictures, the extensive period over which this collection was amassed, and the inclusion of moving images, this is one of the more serious cases that comes before the court.
“But I bear in mind your good character as a soldier, where your conduct was described as exemplary, and the steps you have taken since your arrest to address your problem.”