A BT worker has been jailed for 22 months after pleading guilty to possessing more than 124,000 indecent images of children.

Ashok Rana, 41, of Langley Green, Crawley, was handed the immediate custodial sentence at Hove Crown Court.

The court heard that due to the large number of indecent images, police officers had to stop categorising them.

Indecent images of children are classified as either Category A, Category B or Category C, with Category A the most serious.

The court was told that Rana had 201 Category A images, with 76 moving images, 68 Category B images, 27 of them moving images, and in excess of 124,000 Category C images.

He had pleaded guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing.

The court was told that Rana “cannot help himself” and was “unable to control himself” when it came to possessing indecent images, with many of them of children as young as three years old.

In jailing Rana, a manager with telecoms firm BT, the Recorder, Ms Sarah Elliott, said she had read the case “with care”.

“I have looked at this case [and] it is a tragic one,” she said, telling Rana that this type of offence “puts children at risk”.

She added: “While these offences are reprehensible … in all other respects you are a decent member of society with a supportive family, who ought to be making his mark in a positive way.”

Rana’s sister sat in the public gallery throughout the hearing and broke down in tears when sentence was passed.

Rana also admitted he was in breach of a four-month sentence, suspended for two years, previously imposed by Lewes Crown Court.

He was also in breach of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, and the court was told that Rana used six devices without the required monitoring software.

Ms Elliott jailed Rana for 12 months for possessing the Category A images, eight months for breaching the Sexual Harm Prevention Order and activated the suspended sentence for two months, with all sentences to run consecutively.

She also jailed him for eight months for possessing the Category B images and four months for possessing the Category C images, to run concurrently.

Rana was told he will spend half of the 22 months in custody, and will be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.

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