Adam Barker, 44, went on the run for eight years, living in Hungary, and missed his father’s funeral in his attempt to beat justice.
Yesterday, at Isleworth Crown Court in west London, he was finally punished after admitting being in possession of 1,675 indecent images and videos and 20 counts of making indecent images of children.
Of the 1,675 images and videos, 92 were graded level four – the second highest in seriousness, showing children involved in penetrative sex.
He obtained the images between January 1999 and June 2003.
Barker paid for the images with his credit card, which alerted police who raided his home in Haven Lane, Ealing, west London, in the early hours of June 3, 2003.
Ravinder Johal, prosecuting, said Barker confessed to police there were “some things on the computer”.
The paedophile told the officers it “would be a dereliction of duty” if they did not take his zip drive and a Packard Bell computer.
The officers removed the equipment and CDs and Barker, who appeared in court with a goatee beard and having lost a lot of weight, was bailed to June 24, 2004.
But he went Awol and travelled out of British jurisdiction to Hungary.
He missed the deaths and funerals of both his parents and refused to return.
He wrote his parents a letter saying he was going away.
His absence caused “unquantifiable distress” to his family, the court heard.
He only came back to Britain after his funds ran out, Mr Johal said.
The prosecutor told Judge Rosa Dean 17 of the 20 counts related to pre-teen boys.
A pre-sentencing report viewed him as a medium risk of posing harm in future sexual offending.
Barker, who has served the equivalent of six months so far on remand, told the police he lived alone in Budapest with no contact from family and friends.
His barrister, Simon Ray, said during the eight years on the run he did not own a computer and never viewed child pornography because he only ever accessed the internet in cafes.
Judge Rosa Dean cut in, saying: “We’ve no way of knowing if that’s right or wrong.
“Nobody is in a position to know what he was up to.
“I am not going to speculate what he was up to in Hungary.”
Mr Ray said Barker used his “self-imposed exile”, which was “lonely and isolated”, to increase his self-discipline and will power.
Barker unequivocally accepted his wrongdoing, Mr Ray said. And he added that Barker did not know of his famous father and mother’s deaths “until relatively recently”.
The judge gave Barker full credit for pleading guilty at the first opportunity – which she acknowledged seemed odd with his going on the run for almost a decade.
But when he did eventually return Barker did plead guilty after being arraigned at court last month.
He would have been jailed for 18 months after a trial.
The judge told him his offending “contributed to the degradation and continuing abuse of children”.
Barker will be on the sex offenders register for 10 years, was banned from working with children and subjected to a Sexual Offenders Prevention Order with conditions governing his use of the internet.