A SEX offender who continued his sexual interest in children despite having specialist treatment is today starting 22 months in jail.

Police found nearly 11,000 indecent images of children as young as two on Malcolm Derek Aitken's phone, said Heather Gilmore, prosecuting.

He had downloaded them over six months last year, had a previous conviction for a similar crime for which the punishment had included a sex offenders treatment programme, and was subject to a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) at the time.

York Press:

Aitken told police he was sexually interested in children and fantasised about them, but chose to find sexual images of them online rather than meet them in reality, the court heard.

Defence barrister Fiona Clancy said he had managed to avoid offending for several years after the treatment programme. The SOPO only prevented him having physical contact with children.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC said Aitken had an "uncontrollable desire" to look at young children being sexually abused.

"The risk you pose, I agree with the probation service, isn't manageable in the community," he said as he jailed Aitken for 22 months at York Crown Court.

He also put him on the sex offenders' register and made him subject to a sexual harm prevention order with conditions that control his use of the internet, enable police to monitor every device he uses to access the internet and ban him from having contact with children under 16. Both orders last for ten years.

Aitken, 30, of Westgate Carr Road, Pickering, and of Whitby, pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children.

Ms Gilmore said he had 159 of the most serious category, 187 of the middle category and 10,515 of the least serious category. Most were of girls aged between two and 14, many of them under eight, and some were of boys.

Ms Clancy said: "He wishes desperately to rehabilitate himself."

Aitken had tried to kill himself in December 2016 by driving into a tree following his arrest and had also made a suicide attempt before he was sentenced for his first offence of having indecent images in 2008. His family were standing by him.

She said research had cast doubt of the efficiency of the sex offenders' treatment programme generally.