A FORMER prison officer was behind bars last night after being caught with hundreds of pictures of child pornography.

David George Lamb was jailed for two years for creating and distributing sickening images to paedophiles around the world.

Lamb claimed to be working for a US-based organisation, Safety Ed International, which was set up to trap online perverts.

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He told police after his arrest that his internet conversations and picture-sharing were an attempt to infiltrate the gangs.

But a court was told yesterday that the 53-year-old former soldier never once asked another who they were, or where they were.

The police investigation revealed that he had had internet conversations in which he said he had sex with a seven-year-old girl.

Lamb also told online friends that he had had sex with a ten-year-old, and that he had committed a sex offence against a girl of four.

An examination of his computer also revealed messages to others including “I’m so glad I’m a paedo” and “Sex with all kids is hot”.

Lamb’s barrister, Scott Smith, said he had been “playing a role” to gain the trust of offenders before reporting their illicit websites.

“He vehemently denies that he was sexually-motivated,”

Mr Smith told Judge George Moorhouse.

“You have heard what his motivation was, whether you accept that or not.”

Lamb worked at Deerbolt Young Offenders’ Institution, near Barnard Castle, when he was arrested last year.

The court heard that while Safety Ed officials did help the police, Lamb’s actions did not lead to a single website being closed down.

He joined the group in 2002, and a reference from its founder described him as working “tirelessly” to help law enforcement agencies.

Richard Bennett, prosecuting, argued at an earlier hearing that Lamb’s involvement in the now-defunct organisation was a “smokescreen”.

Lamb, of Waterloo Yard, Barnard Castle, pleaded guilty to four charges of distributing indecent photographs of children in March last year.

He also admitted 15 charges of making indecent photographs, and one of possessing 565 indecent photographs of children at his former home in Stainton, near Barnard Castle, on March 27 last year.

He was ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years, and was banned from having a private internet account or using the internet at home.

Judge Moorhouse told him: “It is quite clear that between 2002 and 2008, your motives changed.”