A 63-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for 15 months for the possession of more than 24,000 indecent images of children.

John William Marshall of Fairfax Avenue in Harrogate appeared at York Crown Court for sentencing, after pleading guilty to the offence earlier this year.

Marshall, who has links to Northallerton, was charged with making more than 24,000 indecent photographs of a child, possessing more than 1,000 prohibited images of a child and 13 extreme pornographic images. 

The content was found after police seized Marshall's computer hard disks and electronic devices, which were forensically examined.

On Tuesday (June 11) he was sentenced to 15 months and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for ten years. 

He was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for ten years, banning him from making contact with children, unless consent is given by a parent and the social services. 

In response to Marshall's sentencing, Adam Harland of North Yorkshire Police said: "Every indecent photograph is a result of a child suffering from abuse.

"Through these offences, Marshall has been fuelling that abuse, wherever it has taken place.

"If you have been the victim of sexual abuse, whether it is happening now or in the past, please contact the police.

"Even if it is not possible to put an offender before the courts, it's important that you are offered the support and advice that is available. Your information could also help to protect other victims and help the police form a wider picture of offending.

"We appreciate that telling the police what has happened takes courage. It is not easy reliving such distressing situations.

"We understand this and have specially trained officers who will guide you through the process as well as directing you to other agencies who can help you.

"Child sexual abuse and exploitation is a foremost priority for all police forces and all reports will be fully investigated.

"Please do not suffer alone – if you have been abused, please report it."