LONDON, Ont. -- Ryan Patterson was like any student on the Western University campus.
In March 2011, he was finishing up his third year. He lived with some other guys at a Wolfe St. address and had a girlfriend near campus.
But Patterson, 22, also had a secret he kept hidden on his laptop -- 33 hours and 46 minutes of videos and 438 still images of child pornography.
Judge Gregory Pockele watched a five-minute clip of the criminal material that he said was "extremely troubling to view."
They showed children of various ages, most between the ages of seven and nine, but some so young they were in diapers.
"As I viewed the videos, I wondered after five minutes why anyone would want to keep and store any of them," he said at Patterson's sentencing hearing.
"I just would like to apologize to everyone," Patterson said, vowing he would never offend again.
"This whole thing has been a huge learning experience for me. I realize what I did was not a victimless crime."
Pockele sentenced the Whitby, Ont., man to five months in jail for one count of child porn possession after hearing about Patterson's arrest and subsequent efforts to gain insight into his crimes.
Assistant Crown attorney Karen Bellehumeur told the judge Patterson was arrested after London's cybercrime unit investigated child porn downloads from a shared file program that were eventually traced to Patterson's laptop.
The police originally looked for the computer at Patterson's address, but later discovered he was staying with his girlfriend and had his laptop with him.
When told why police wanted to see his computer, he replied, "It was me."
He was arrested and charged. He also handed over a small amount of marijuana.
Defence lawyer Alan Risen said Patterson hadn't watched all the porn he had on his computer. He collected both child and adult images and movies.
After his arrest, Patterson left school and made efforts to get help from a psychiatrist. His preference, he indicated to his doctor, was for girls aged 13 and 14.
He lived with his brother because he wanted to make sure he wasn't breaching any of his bail conditions living at home with his teenage sister or using a computer. He was afraid to go anywhere where there were children under the age of 16.
Patterson was open with his friends and family about what happened, and immediately sought help. Drugs had become a big part of his life, Risen said, and had taken him over emotionally, physically and mentally. Since returning home, he's been clean, going to the gym and working.
"He's back to the person his parents remember before he went away," Risen said.
His psychiatrist indicated that Patterson is motivated to deal with his issues and put him at a low risk to reoffend.
"He's gained an understanding why (child pornography) is evil, why it's bad," Risen said Patterson's plan is to ultimately complete his degree somewhere.
Pockele told Patterson Parliament has instituted minimum sentences to tell judges "this is part of the value system and ethic of the country."
He said Patterson was an "exceptional offender" because he was a productive person who had made efforts to get help.
Pockele said, "As an individual with children your age, I take no pleasure giving you this sentence."
Patterson also was given two years of probation with a condition not to use the Internet unless he signs a waiver that any law enforcement agency can view his computer.