The NSPCC has called for stronger laws to protect children as a North Yorkshire man with 24,000 sexual images of children starts a jail term.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC told York Crown Court John William Marshall, 63, knew the youngsters in the videos and pictures he hoarded were affected by the sexual abuse they suffered as they were filmed.

But for eight years, he had scoured the internet for the illegal images and downloaded them.

"You have a good understanding of the harm these offences caused, but you simply put your own sexual gratification first and the primary motivation for these offences is your sexual interest in children," the judge told Marshall.

He jailed Marshall for 15 months, put him on the sex offenders' register for 10 years and made him subject to a sexual harm prevention order severely restricting any contact with children and enabling police to monitor his use of the internet, also for 10 years.

"I am satisfied it is necessary .... to have the involvement of social services to oversee your activities in the future," said the judge.

Marshall, of Fairfax Avenue, Harrogate, pleaded guilty to downloading indecent photographs of a child, possessing prohibited images of a child and possessing extreme pornographic images.

For him, Keith Allen said he had not offended since his arrest in January 2018 and making him do a rehabilitation course could be better for society in the long term.

A NSPCC spokesman said: “By downloading these images, he has encouraged this repulsive behaviour, and it is right that he has now faced justice.

"Stronger legislation can help make the internet and social media a safer place, and prevent sick individuals like Marshall causing suffering to other, vulnerable children in future.”

Adam Harland, of North Yorkshire Police, said: "If you have been the victim of sexual abuse, whether it is happening now or in the past, please contact the police.

"We appreciate that telling the police what has happened takes courage. It is not easy reliving such distressing situations. We understand this and have specially trained officers who will guide you through the process as well as directing you to other agencies who can help you."