A man who lived alone in the woods in Crowborough downloaded more than 7,000 indecent images of children, some as young as six months old.
Kevin Wyeth, 32, was ‘extremely isolated’ and would go weeks without speaking to another human being.
When officers raided his tent in April they found he had thousands of indecent images of children, a court heard .
Wyeth, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to three charges of possession of indecent images of children and one charge of possessing an extreme pornographic image.
He appeared at Lewes Crown Court yesterday for sentencing.
Prosecutor Naomi Edwards said: “When the officers attended they arrested Mr Wyeth and searched his tent.
“In the tent there were two mobile phones, found to contain indecent images.
“There was an age range of between six months and 15 years in terms of the children depicted.”
She told the court that in at one of the images the child was in ‘discernible distress’.
The court heard that there were 7,351 images in total, of which 1,812 were Category A – the most serious category.
There were 2,574 Category B images and 2,965 Category C images.
Defence barrister Charlotte Morrish said: “Mr Wyeth has been homeless now for seven years.
“He has been an alcoholic since he was about 17 years old.
“It is clear that he was extremely isolated. He has been living in the woods on his own in a tent drinking heavily.”
She told the court that Wyeth ‘fully recognises’ that he needs help and wants help.
Sentencing him, Judge Christine Laing QC said: “There was, it is quite clear, discernible distress with at least one of these images and the age range of the children is very substantial and including very young children.
“There was a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) in place at the time [of the offending] designed specifically to stop you committing this type of offences.”
Wyeth was jailed for 20 months.