A PERVERT who took indecent images of a child has been jailed.

Mark Stephen Steel, 58, was sentenced to 14 months in prison when he appeared before Judge Jonathan Gibson at Barrow-in-Furness Crown Court.

The sentence was welcomed by the children's charity the NSPCC which described Steel's offending as 'abhorrent and dangerous'.

At an earlier hearing at Burnley Crown Court Judge Gibson was told how 58-year-old Steel took 15 indecent images of the child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, between January 2012 and March 2016.

The court heard that when police seized electronic devices belong to Steel they found extreme pornographic images featuring a person performing a sexual act with a dog.

Officers also found that Steel, of Edleston Street, Accrington, had made 336 Category A indecent photographs of children, which feature the most serious examples of child sexual abuse. He had also made 165 Category B indecent photographs of children, and 1,717 Category C indecent photographs of children.

Experts found that on February 12, 2016, Steel had distributed two Category A images of children, one Category B image and 12 Category C images of children .

On February 17, 2016, Steel had distributed three Category A images of children, one Category B imaged and nine Category C images of children.

Steel was also found to be in possession of a prohibited image of a child.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children, one of taking indecent photographs of a child, one of possessing a prohibited image of a child, one of possessing extreme pornographic images and six of distributing indecent photographs of children.

Steel was jailed for 14 months and made subject of a 10-year-sexual harm prevention order. A decision will also be made on whether he must sign the sex offender's register.

Speaking after the hearing, an NSPCC spokesman said: "Steel committed an abhorrent and dangerous crime by making and circulating this material.

"Behind every indecent image is a child who has been harmed or abused in the real world. The knowledge that their image can be repeatedly viewed and may never be removed contributes to the ongoing trauma that Steel’s victims face.

"Far more must be done by the government and internet providers to combat the growing trade in these awful images."

Anyone with concerns about a child can contact the NSPCC confidential helpline on 0808 8005000. Children seeking advice and support can call Childline on 0800 1111.