A RESTAURANT manager from Selby has been jailed after being identified as part of an international network circulating indecent images of children.

Daniel Brown, 33, told others not to be ashamed of being paedophiles and exchanged images of children with people from the US, Australia, Poland, Italy, Germany and France.

When police raided his home in Weeland Road, Eggborough, they found 3,351 indecent images and 17 videos of children who were aged between one and 13 years.

He had 27 “level five” images – the most serious level of indecency, and distributed 241 to other paedophiles over a two-year period.

Brown pleaded guilty to 26 charges of possessing, downloading and distributing illegal images of children and was given a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence when he appeared at Hull Crown Court.

More than 13 users he is linked with are now being investigated for possession of extreme pornographic images and videos.

Jharan Jobes, prosecuting, told the court: “He warned one internet paedophile: ‘Don’t lose your nerve. Don’t be ashamed of who you are. Never shy away from it’.”

Among the offences Brown admitted were 15 charges of making indecent pictures of children under 16 between January and February last year, and eight charges of distributing child abuse images.

John Thackray, defending him, said he had lost his restaurant manager’s job as a result of his crimes.

“He has had difficulty coming to terms with his offending,” he said.

“He has had his own difficulties in recent times. His partner of nine years died and four weeks after that his aunt, who brought him up, died.”

Jailing Brown, Recorder James Baird told him: “It is clear you freely distributed and exchanged material with 13 recipients in several countries.

“The messages show a degree of encouragement to others to distribute the material you clearly have an interest in.”

Brown must also stay on the sex offenders’ register for life and he must never work with children.

Speaking after the case, detective constable Adrian Anderson of Humberside Police said: “Brown’s arrest has resulted in the biggest inquiry I have dealt with, tracing many more than the 13 recipients of his images.

“We are investigating scores of people in eight countries. Once those investigations are complete, we will be handing the files to national police forces, Interpol and the FBI for them to prosecute.

“The images we are finding are of younger and younger children, and over the last ten years they have been getting worse.”