Police computer experts retrieved more than 600 images of child sex abuse from a man's computer, despite the use of a sophisticated deletion programme.
Officers who searched a hard drive belonging to Alistair Rankin, of North Common Road, Ealing, uncovered two horrific images in the most serious category, level five, and a further 18 in the next level down.
The 42-year-old admitted 11 charges of making indecent images of children up to his arrest and the seizure of his computers in July last year at Isleworth Crown Court today.
Prosecutor Laura Steel said: "The images were all on the Dell computer but he also had a Mac which was intended, by him, to be used for the same purpose. It was a very expensive high-specification computer, specifically for graphics - an unusual piece of equipment for normal use."
Outlining the images found, Ms Steel agreed there were "some duplications" but added "There was also a deletion programme which is specifically there to over-write and delete these images as soon as they have been viewed. But the images were able to be recovered."
Following his arrest Rankin denied any offences and was bailed. He returned to the police station in January when he declined to answer questions.
His counsel, Sophie Shotton, said he was anxious to get help and if he was sent to prison this would not be possible.
The judge, Recorder David Williams QC said that although a custodial sentence was appropriate he believed supervision would be more effective."
He made a three year community supervision order on condition Rankin attends sex offender programmes and the internet sex offender group. In addition he made an order prohibiting Rankin from using the internet the web for 10 years and confiscated the Dell computer.
He must also sign on the sex offenders' register for five years.