A MAN who distributed hundreds of films of children being abused has been jailed for two and a half years.

Philip Perrett, 67, of Arnolds Mead, Corsham, who formerly worked for Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios at Box, used Skype and email to send footage of child abuse to paedophiles around the globe.

Many of the images showed youngsters, aged between one and 15, in pain or distress.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the police were alerted about Perrett by the National Center For Missing And Exploited Children, in America.

When they went to his home he admitted the computer was his and that he had been downloading the material for more than four years.

The court heard he had had 345 films and 46 pictures in the worst category, 109 films and 87 pictures in the middle bracket and 18 films and 63 pictures in the third.

Miss Hingston said that there was also a huge amount of material that had not been classified by officers as they stop once they reach a certain amount.

She said that 533 movies and pictures, most in the most serious category, were distributed by him on more than 250 occasions.

Perrett pleaded guilty to three counts of making and two of distributing indecent images of children.

Richard Williams, defending, said Perrett admitted what he had done and had led a blameless life before these matters.

He said he had recently retired after working for many years at the recording studio.

Since his arrest he said he had shown a significant amount of shame and remorse.

Jailing him Judge Tim Mousley QC said: “The distribution offences are the most serious.

"You were searching for these images and there was a large number of victims. Every child in those images was a victim of sexual assault.”

As well as jailing him for 30 months he also imposed a sexual harm prevention order and banned him from working with children or vulnerable adults.

An NSPCC spokesperson for South West England said: “The children in these pictures and videos, some of which fell into the most serious category of offending, are the victims of child abuse and the horrific experiences they endured for the images to be created should not be underestimated.

“Perrett’s actions have only helped to fuel this disgusting crime and destroy children's lives.

“More needs to be done to tackle the vile trade in indecent images of children and to cut this material off at the source by working with internet providers, but even then there is no guarantee that these images will ever disappear from the web.

“If anyone is concerned a child is being abused, they should call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.”