A NORTH Yorkshire lorry driver who paid to have sexual abuse of children streamed live to his computer has been jailed for six years.

Richard Clark told police he was “helping” people in the Philippines rebuild their lives after a hurricane by sending a woman there thousands of pounds, said Camille Morland, prosecuting.

The money was for her to arrange for children as young as five in her home country to be the subject of sexual pictures and assaults.

“In five days, he paid her £450 via Western Union so he could watch live sexual abuse of young children via Skype,” said Ms Morland.

Some of the children he saw abused were clearly distressed.

“These are sickening offences,” Judge Sean Morris told Clark. “Without people like you children in these deprived areas would not be having this torture inflicted on them.

“I am quite satisfied you are dangerous.”

He gave Clark a 10-year extended sentence of six years in prison plus a four-year licence extension and warned him he would not be released inside six years unless the Parole Board decided he was “safe”.

In 1999, Clark, 58, of Fishburn Road, Whitby, was among the first people in the country to be convicted of having indecent images of children and was jailed for nine months.

In 2019, he pleaded guilty to five charges of facilitating a child sex offence, one of attempting to facilitate a child sex offence and three of downloading indecent images of children.

He will be on the sex offenders’ register and was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order, both for life.

Ms Morland said he also targeted children in the UK via social media, asking them to send him sexual pictures of themselves.

Mitigating for Clark, Ben Thomas said: “He apologises through me for the harm he has done to these children."

He added that Clark wanted help in tackling his behaviour.

Detective Constable Rachael Hughes, of Scarborough CID, said: “It’s unimaginable that someone could get enjoyment from watching children suffer in this way.

“Every time Clark made a payment to an abuser, he was directly funding child abuse and directly encouraging other paedophiles to carry out horrendous acts against vulnerable children.

“He did this from behind a computer screen where he believed he wouldn’t get caught. In some cases he did it from thousands of miles away.

“However, we investigate many different types of sexual abuse and we catch offenders.

“Communities in North Yorkshire and much further afield are safer when people like Clark are brought to justice and jailed.”