A former royal butler from Whitby has been jailed for two years after he admitted distributing obscene images of young children.

Nicholas Greaves, whose work involved opening doors for the Queen, bowed his head in the dock at York Crown Court as he was sentenced.

Greaves, who worked as an under-butler at Buckingham Palace between May 2002 and June 2004, had more than 450 indecent photographs and 15 indecent films of children stored on his laptop computer.

Jailing him, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said the depravity which the victims would have been subjected to "beggars belief".

Some of the images involved babies who were only "a few months old", while others depicted scenes of torture.

Greaves, 33, left Buckingham Palace in 2004 to work in the private residence of the Jordanian royal family in Belgravia, where he directly served King Abdullah.

He also returned to work at Buckingham Palace on a temporary basis for major occasions.

Judge Marson said: "It is of course a tragedy to see a man about whom so many speak so well standing in the dock of a crown court having pleaded guilty to matters that are clearly so serious that nothing other than a custodial sentence can be justified.

"The depravity of what these children have been subjected to beggars belief."

The judge said he accepted that Greaves was not responsible for making the pictures, but added: "The reality is that, because you downloaded them as you did and distributed them as you did, you contributed to the degradation of these young children.

"There is no reason for your possession and distribution of these images other than for sexual gratification.

"There is no other logical explanation."