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A 34-year-old accounts clerk has been jailed for five years after being convicted for possessing almost half a million indecent images of children.

Andrew Tatam, 34, from Moulton near Spalding in Lincolnshire, admitted to possessing 495,524 images - thought to be to UK's largest collection of illegal images of children.

He also coughed up to having 20 million pornographic images on his computers, according to the Telegraph.

Handing down his sentence, the judge at Lincoln Crown Court described the images as "utterly vile and horrendously exploitative".

Police raided Tatam's home in 2002 after police found his credit card details on a US Web site. Detectives taking part in the national Operation Ore search for Internet paedophiles said that the cache was the largest collection yet unearthed.

Peter Robbins, chief exec of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said: "This sentence demonstrates the effectiveness of police operations targeting this type of crime and shows that it is important to have stringent legislation for offences concerning child abuse images, which we have in the UK.

"We would like to see broader consensus and co-operation at an international level, including a review of the mechanisms and laws currently in place, to further address the problems surrounding this type of material, the majority of which is currently being hosted overseas."

Last October, paedophile Douglas Lindsell, described by police as the "most prolific Internet groomer ever caught", was jailed for five years after pleading guilty to attempting to abduct a young girl.

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