Liverpool man jailed for third time over online child abuse

Richard Thomas Image copyright NCA
Image caption Richard Thomas has two previous convictions for indecent images of children offences

A man with two previous convictions for accessing indecent images of children has been jailed for a third time after admitting watching abuse live online.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said Richard Thomas told investigators he enjoyed watching the live abuse of young children via an online video conferencing platform.

The 31-year-old 31, from Longfield Road, Bootle, admitted five offences.

He was jailed for two years six months at Liverpool Crown Court.

In court on Wednesday, Thomas admitted three counts of making indecent images of children, one of encouraging the commission by another of the offence of distributing indecent images of a child, and one of breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

He was ordered to be on the sex offenders register for life.

In 2010, he was given a three-year community order, and in 2016, he was jailed for 12 months and given a sexual harm prevention order prohibiting him from accessing the internet unless approved by a police officer, the NCA said.

NCA operations manager Graham Ellis said by viewing "horrific images of children, he and others like him are fuelling the abuse across the world".

"We know that the scale and severity of this type of offending against children is getting worse and increasing [and] with many individuals, we see an escalation in offending, which is very frightening," he added.

"The NCA will not stop pursuing child sex offenders and will do everything in our power to bring them to justice."

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