A factory worker who used multiple social media accounts to share revolting images of child abuse has been jailed for two years.
Andrew Dixon used his smart phone to attract more than 300 followers on Twitter, telling other users: “I like pre-teens and incest,” Durham Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Harry Hadfield said Dixon created accounts using derivatives of his own name, often creating another account within hours of twitter taking down an existing one.
Mr Hadfield added: “An example was the account name ‘andy1074b’, Dixon was born in October, 1974.
“He would routinely download about a dozen indecent images, then repost them to be shared among his followers.
“He attracted followers from all over the world, many in America and Germany, some in the south of England, and one in this region.
“Durham Police raided his home after receiving an urgent notification from the National Crime Agency about his activities.
Dixon, 41, of Edward Avenue, Horden, admitted 15 charges of distributing indecent images of children, one charge of encouraging others to send indecent images to him, and one charge of possessing extreme pornography, all between August last year, and February of this year.
The court heard three of the images were in the most serious category A, including one of a three-year-old girl on her hands and knees being sexually abused by an adult male.
Twelve images were in category B, and 96 images were in category C.
The extreme pornographic image showed a woman engaging in sexual activity with dogs, the court was told.
Stephen Constantine, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Dixon made early admissions and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
“He realises he has a problem, and is keen to take advantage of any help he may be offered to address it.
“His work record is a good one, and he was working on contract for a local manufacturing company until last April.
“There is the offer of another contract starting on June 1.
“If the inevitable sentence can be suspended, he can take advantage of that offer of work, and also take advantage of help within the community to address the causes of his offending.”
Judge Christopher Prince jailed Dixon for two years.
The judge told him: “You say in the pre-sentence report you had a light bulb moment and are no longer sexually interested in children.
“I do not accept that.
“Offences of this nature quite rightly cause grave concern among the public.
“The children in these images are victims every time they are abused to create an image, and they are victims again every time people like you view the image and share it with others.
“It has to be immediate custody, both to deter you, and to deter others tempted to do as you did.”
Dixon’s smart phone was confiscated and will be destroyed.
He was made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order banning him from unsupervised contact with children, and limiting his internet use.
Dixon must register as a sex offender for 10 years.