A LOVE-SICK worker was so obsessed with a work colleague he tried to frame her husband for possessing child porn.

Ilkka Karttunnen, 48, even broke into her house in Southend while she and her husband slept and fitted a bugging device to download the contents of their home computer.

Karttunnen collected a series of child porn images and sent them on a pen drive to police, along with a vindictive hand-written note, alleging the innocent man was a paedophile.

The anonymous letter claimed the item had been stolen from a house in Southend, leading to the arrest of the woman's innocent husband in front of their children and the seizure of a computer.

While the dad was being investigated, he could not see his kids and was told to stay away from his home. But when police turned the investigation on Karttunnen, they found pictures and bank statements of the couple and their children.

At Basildon Crown Court, Suzanne Stringer, prosecuting, said this had turned the life of the work colleague and her husband upside down.

She said: “This had a devastating effect on the family, as he was given no access to his young children or his home while he was under investigation and he had to live with the trauma of being accused of crimes against young children, of which he is wholly innocent.

“Karttunnen had hoped to have an innocent man arrested and imprisoned so he could take his place in the family.”

Police became concerned about Karttunnen’s behaviour as he had showed up at his colleague’s home unannounced when her husband was at work.

They searched his house and shed in The Gore, Basildon, to find computer equipment containing the entire contents of his work colleague’s home computer.

He had also got into the family’s home while they were out and taken photographs inside.

These included pictures of a child’s bedroom and a calendar showing when her husband was at work.

Mrs Stringer said: “He admitted he had been inside the home of his colleague at night while the family were upstairs asleep and had downloaded the contents of their home computer.

“This is one of the most unusual cases I have ever dealt with. The lengths this man went to in order to pursue a fantasy were incredible.

“We only hope the family can now move forward positively with their lives.”

Detectives managed to build a case against Karttunnen with specialist computer software designed for use in terrorism cases.

They proved the pen drive sent to Essex Police had been in the back of Karttunnen’s home computer and had been used to create a fictitious e-mail account in the husband’s name.

He had also used a device plugged into the back of the family’s computer to get all their passwords.

At his workplace, in Basildon, officers found a covert recording device linked to the family home which contained details of their private conversations.

Karttunnen, who is of Finnish nationality, was jailed for four and a half years at Basildon Crown Court on Friday, made subject to a restraining order and ordered to register as a sex offender.