York & North Yorkshire

Whitby sex offender jailed after Australian police tip-off

Nathan Smith Image copyright North Yorkshire Police
Image caption Nathan Smith "showed a clear obsession with the abuse of children"

A man has been jailed for three years after police in Australia uncovered hundreds of indecent images of children and messages about abusing youngsters.

Nathan Smith, from Whitby, was arrested by North Yorkshire Police after being alerted by officers in South Australia.

They had arrested a man on suspicion of distributing images of child abuse and found pictures sent by Smith.

At York Crown Court, the 29-year-old admitted possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

Along with the pictures, police found an 89-page online chat of the pair discussing how they would like to abuse children in real life.

'You can't hide'

On Smith's phone and computer, they found more than 300 images of child abuse including 59 photographs and three videos graded as the most severe.

Det Con Graeme Boast, of North Yorkshire Police's Online Abuse and Exploitation Investigation Team, said the sentence sent out a "clear message that you can't hide behind technology and no matter where in the world you choose to share your sickening images, you will be found".

An NSPCC spokesperson said: "Every item in Smith's disgusting collection of indecent images meant a vulnerable young person had suffered horrendous abuse.

"He showed a clear obsession with the abuse of children, and thankfully the international operation ensured Smith could be brought to justice."

Smith, of Helredale Road, was also issued with a sexual prevention order.

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