ALMOST 35,000 child abuse images were found on a man's laptop — when he took it to a computer repair shop.

David Bradshaw, 63, of Dolcroft Road, Rookley, appeared at the Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, where he admitted three counts of making indecent images of children.

He also admitted one count of cannabis possession.

The court heard Bradshaw took his laptop to a computer shop to be repaired.

Staff discovered a folder on his hard drive, taking up a large amount of space, containing images that had been downloaded during the previous six years.

Ann Smout, prosecuting, said: "When they opened the folder, they saw thousands of thumbnail images they suspected showed children being abused.

"They immediately called the police and handed the laptop over.

"Police discovered the laptop contained 34,638 images and videos of children, ranging from category A — the most serious kind — to category C.

"Many of the images were attributed to a username of Dave the Hat.

"He told police he thought he had wiped the hard drive before he sent it to be repaired.

"He said images of 12 to 14-year-old girls had helped him deal with the break-up of a previous relationship."

When police searched his address, the court heard officers found a number of electronic devices and a small quantity of cannabis.

Barry Arnett, defending, said there had been an 'absolutely astonishing delay' by the police in bringing the matter to court.

"After these charges were leaked out to the public, Mr Bradshaw was repeatedly threatened and forced to move from a previous address," he said.

"There will be quite severe implications for Mr Bradshaw. He is a man who has already lost quite a lot."

Bradshaw is due to be sentenced at the Isle of Wight Crown Court on March 6.

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