A MAN with a history of possessing child abuse images was found to have more than 19,000 indecent pictures and videos of children on his computers.

Sean Nicholson, 50, was jailed for the third time yesterday after police found that he had 19,476 pictures and videos of children involved in sex acts.

Nicholson, of Elm Street in Bacup, was discovered him to have downloaded thousands of extreme sexual images of children from the ages of two to 14.

Nicholson would look at the pictures and videos 'three or four times a week for one or two hours at a time before going to work', Bolton Crown Court heard yesterday, with the majority of the images being children ages six to eight.

Nicholson found pornographic pictures where the children involved were “enjoying themselves” the most “sexually gratifying”, according to prosecution Brian Berlyne.

Images of drugged children and sex acts involving animals were also found on two computers and a hard drive used by Nicholson, labelled with code names indicative of child abuse images.

After being the photos were uncovered by police, he was then found to be disguising himself as a teenage girl on message apps, using a pseudonym while hoping to meet “sexually like minded” people.

Nicholson was charged with making and possessing indecent images between August 2016 and August 2018. He has also been sentenced for identical offences in 2009 and 2010.

Nicholson entered a guilty plea for the charges but disputed that he knew exactly how many of the images were in his possession.

The defence, Saleema Mahmood said that Nicholson believed that more images had been downloaded to his devices in the background without his knowledge. He also said that he was unaware of the extreme nature of some of them.

Judge Graeme Smith disagreed and sentenced Nicholson to 36 months in prison, highlighting the volume of the pictures, the age of the children involved and his previous convictions as reasons for the lengthy sentence.

He said: “It’s quite clear that he was aware that there were a significant number of images. It was not a case where the computer would download multiple images without his knowledge. He would have been aware of the nature of the files because of the names.”