A FORMER royal butler has been jailed for two years for child pornography offences.

Nicholas Greaves, 33, of Crescent Avenue, in Whitby, North Yorkshire, had more than 450 indecent photos of children.

The former Buckingham Palace under-butler also had 15 indecent films of children stored on a laptop computer.

He was sentenced this week at York Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to 16 charges of possessing child pornography.

He was also placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for ten years.

Some of the scenes on Greaves' laptop involved babies only a few months old, while others depicted scenes of torture.

Judge Geoffrey Marson, who sentenced Greaves, said: "The depravity of what these children have been subjected to beggars belief. The reality is that because you downloaded them as you did and distributed them as you did, you contributed to the degradation of these young children.

"There is no reason for your possession and distribution of these images other than for sexual gratification.

"It is, of course, a tragedy to see a man about whom so many speak so well standing in the dock of a crown court having pleaded guilty to matters that are clearly so serious that nothing other than a custodial sentence can be justified."

Greaves spent two years from May 2002 working at Buckingham Palace, where his duties brought him into contact with the Queen.

He left the palace in 2004 to work in the private residence of the Jordanian royal family in Belgravia, London.

While there, Greaves directly served King Abdullah of Jordan.

He also returned over the years to work at Buckingham Palace several times on a temporary basis.

Greaves was involved in running celebrations to mark the Queen's recent 80th birthday.

He sparked a missing person's search in May when he disappeared in Whitby.

He vanished only half an hour before he was due to attend the opening of his new cafe, called Bojangles, in the town.

Traced by the police, he was arrested and charged last month on child pornography offences.