A paedophile from Luton has been jailed for two years and eight months after downloading thousands of indecent images of children.
Carl Tofts, 27, of Harcourt Street, was handed a 32-month prison term at Luton Crown Court on Monday after being convicted of possessing over 2,500 images of children being abused.
Police raided Tofts' home in June 2016 after receiving intelligence that someone at that address was accessing indecent images of children via the internet.
Tofts was arrested and subsequently released on bail, while officers seized his devices to download and investigate the content.
He was arrested again in January 2017 by Norfolk Police for similar offences and, in November 2018, he was charged with making and distributing indecent images of children and possession of extreme images.
More than 2,500 images and videos ranging from the most serious category A to category C were found on his devices.
Investigating Officer Michela Zasada said: “Owing to a number of obstacles, it has taken us three years to bring Tofts to justice.
"I am pleased that he has received a custodial sentence for his despicable crimes against children.
“Viewing and possessing indecent images of children is by no means a victimless crime. It causes and propagates real harm to the children concerned, as they are abused and exploited in such a vile and appalling way, and people like Tofts share this disgusting abuse online for other individuals to view.
“We are dedicated to tackling offences of this nature, and hope that the custodial sentence Tofts has received today sends a strong message to others who seek gratification by abusing children in this way.”
In addition to the prison term, Tofts also received an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order, with conditions he must follow on his release from prison.
Parents can visit the Parents Protect website, which is run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, for lots of useful resources to help prevent online child sexual abuse. It also contains a list of organisations and resources focusing on keeping children safe in the digital world.
The NSPCC Share Aware website also contains advice and tips about how children can keep themselves safe online.
To report concerns around child sexual abuse call the police on 101.