A high-flying chartered accountant who got children to dress up in woolly tights and school uniforms to satisfy his warped fantasies has been jailed for three years.

Darryl Robinson, 44, from Dalton, appeared for all the world to be the perfect husband and family man but led a seedy double life in which he stalked schoolchildren with a camera and downloaded hundreds of child-porn shots, building up a vast collection described as a “library of depravity”.

Robinson, an economics graduate and former head boy who held top accountancy jobs with GE Capital and latterly British Gas, scoured the web for vile images of children being sexually abused and even tortured.

His dark secret was finally laid bare when an undercover police officer lured him into an online sex chat during which he revealed his twisted fantasies including an obsession for dressing up in children’s clothes, “particularly woolly tights”, York Crown Court heard.

The perverted bookkeeper even persuaded a few young children, one semi-naked, to dress in tights and a school uniform and had them pose “suggestively” while he took pictures of them.

Prosecuting barrister Anne Richardson said that, while Robinson carved out a distinguished career dealing with high-grade business accounts, his Jeckyll-and-Hyde character and insatiable lust for child pornography led to his ultimate demise. He was now a “broken man” who had lost his job and was being divorced by his wife.

Robinson - whose offences were described as “thoroughly horrific” and nigh-on “unprecedented” in their nature - had stored pictures of himself wearing tights and performing a lewd act on himself, then superimposed images of a young child wearing tights and a school dress as part of a mocked-up sex scene. Other self-made images showed the pervert wearing a school uniform.

The debauched ‘chat log’ with the officer led to a full-scale investigation which revealed the “depth of (Robinson’s) depravity”, including a worldwide trawl of online child porn.

Ms Richardson said that Robinson - who worked as an accountant for British Gas based in York and London, and previously plied his trade globally for GE Capital - used various usernames during his chats with the officer during which he revealed his “long-standing fetish for woolly tights”.

In June last year, officers swooped on his marital home near York and seized numerous computer and storage devices which revealed that the disgraced accountant had downloaded over 400 indecent images of children. Another 20,000 images were classified “borderline”.

As well as more lurid shots of naked youngsters and babies wearing tights, Robinson also gleaned several shots from school websites showing children wearing uniforms. He used an anonymous browser to scour the web in a “sophisticated and well-organised” attempt to avoid detection.

While working away in London, Robinson, originally from Barrow, took pictures of “random” schoolchildren wearing tights and school uniforms, said Ms Richardson.

Following his arrest at a hotel in the capital, Robinson, who recently moved in with his parents in Dalton, admitted seven counts of making indecent photos of children and entered belated guilty pleas to two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. The offences are thought to have occurred between January 2009 and 2014.

He appeared for sentence this week looking calm and composed despite a jail sentence hanging over him.

Ms Richardson said although Robinson had never actually sexually assaulted any children, there was an element of grooming to his behaviour.

Defence barrister Taryn Turner said: “The defendant acknowledges that he has an interest in woollen tights. He’s admitted that he’s had that fetish since about 10 years of age.”

She described Robinson as a “highly-intelligent, highly-motivated, successful man” who “excelled academically” at school in Cumbria and was regarded as a “high-flyer”, but was now “broken as a consequence of his own deviant behaviour.”

Judge Paul Batty QC described Robinson’s behaviour as “revolting and frankly obscene”, and said he had exploited children for his own sexual gratification.

He said the accountant’s vast collection of “vile” child porn was akin to a “library of depravity”.

As well as the three-year jail term, Mr Batty made a sexual-harm prevention order, which will run indefinitely and restrict Robinson’s contact with children. He was also ordered to sign on the sex-offenders’ register for life.