A Plumstead electrician who was caught with thousands of horrific sexual videos of kids insists he’s not a paedophile and that he was paid to share them. 

Mark Richardson, 32, of Warland Road, had over 4,000 images of kids on his laptop and iPad. 

At first he told police that he had recently sent his laptop off for repair and that the repair shop workers must have put the images on it. 

He later changed his story and claimed that an online stranger offered him money to share a link. 

“He was only trying desperately to make a living. He says he didn’t even look at the images, he just sent them on,” his barrister said. 

But Old Bailey Judge Sarah Whitehouse KC said Richardson “undoubtedly” had a sexual interest in children. 

He was given an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years. 

Richardson, a qualified electrician, had pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children, one count of possessing a prohibited image of children and one count of possessing extreme pornography. 

On Monday (February 26) he sat in the dock at the Old Bailey hanging his head as prosecutor Adam Kirke outlined the facts of the case. 

A police raid took place at Richardson’s home on May 2021 after a referral by the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children in the United States. 

During the raid he told officers: “The place you will find something will be on my iPad.” 

The court heard that the videos and images included footage of babies being raped. 

But barrister Mr Adyene said Richardson had been forced into this situation because he was struggling financially during the pandemic. 

He said that Richardson had been researching ways to make money online when someone sent him a link and offered money to share it. 

Mr Adyene said Richardson has dyslexia and did not know what he was sharing. 

Judge Whitehouse dismissed this explanation, saying: “You don’t need to be able to read to see what was in those photos.” 

She told Richardson: “They were appalling images and the suffering of those children cannot be predicted, it will probably blight the rest of their lives.” 

Judge Whitehouse gave him a suspended sentence and ordered him to attend rehabilitation courses. 

Richardson will be required to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.