A man who sexually abused three children and downloaded more than 3,000 images of child abuse online has been jailed for 11 years and four months following an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Robert Farrow, aged 23, from the Heworth area of Gateshead, was arrested in January 2016 after NCA officers began investigating a cache of child abuse images on a Russian file-sharing website known to be used by child sex offenders.
Officers identified Farrow as the man operating the account and on searching his bedroom found items indicating a sexual interest in children.
After arresting Farrow officers found he had committed three sexual assaults on children under 13 and possessed almost 3,500 indecent images of children, many of which were in the most serious category.
Last month Farrow pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault against three children under 13 at Newcastle Crown Court.
He also admitted eight counts related to making and distributing indecent images of children and a count of taking an indecent image of a child.
Farrow was sentenced on Friday at the same court and placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.
He was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order which heavily restricted his use of the internet and smart devices and his contact with children.
Colin Radcliffe, operations manager at the NCA, said: “Farrow is a cunning and calculating man who hid his offences for some time.
“NCA officers work tirelessly to safeguard and protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation. Together with its partners the NCA will ensure those who harm or seek to harm children are held to account.”