A MAN from Gorse Hill has been jailed for two years after pleading guilty to possessing thousands of indecent images of children.

Barry Salmon, 52, of Edinburgh Street, had on his computer almost 70,000 images and videos of child pornography.

He also pleaded guilty to the distribution of images as well as possessing eight images relating to beastiality. In total he was sentenced for 14 different offences.

As well as being imprisoned, Salmon has been ordered to sign the sex offenders register for ten years.

Police tracked Salmon after he posted images on a photo-sharing website and they were able to track his computer’s IP address.

He had an account at the website where he was able to post images as well as comment on other pictures he liked.

Salmon obtained the indecent pictures by downloading them from this site as well as downloading them using peer to peer technology on his computer, which also allowed him to distribute the material.

As well as the pictures, there was also more than 200 hours of child pornography video footage.

Police seized a computer and an external hard drive belonging to Salmon, who used to work at AE Smith Funeral Directors.

Among the images found were more than 1,000 photos of the most serious type of abuse, including babies under the age of six months.

The bulk of the images were girls aged between six and early teens, with Salmon admitting in an interview with the police they were downloaded for sexual gratification.

He said his preference was for youngsters aged from 10 to 12.

Defending Salmon, Rob Ross argued that his client’s family, who had no knowledge of the crime, would suffer if Salmon went to jail as his disabled wife is reliant on him.

However, the judge said that because of the severity of the images he had no choice but to impose a custodial sentence.

Judge Douglas Field said: “You are a man of 52 and until today you were a man of good character who has worked hard his entire life.

“But this is a very serious offence. You had 200 hours of movies and images of babies being abused.

“It would be wrong for me to ignore the guidelines and not send you to jail.”

Salmon’s computer and external hard drive will also be destroyed.