DISGRACED ex-councillor Dean Jenkins was jailed yesterday for possessing, making and distributing thousands of pornographic images of children.

Newport crown court heard the images of young boys ranged from level one to the most severe, level five.

Jenkins, who resigned from representing the Graig ward on Newport Council shortly before yesterday's court appearance, was given a total of 14 months imprisonment.

Jenkins pleaded guilty to 39 charges at an earlier hearing.

Judge David Morris also gave the 44-year-old an extended period of supervision of 30 months following his release from jail. The judge ordered the forfeiture of computer equipment which was taken by police from Jenkins's home during the investigation.

Jenkins, of Lower Machen, will have to register as a sex offender for ten years and is disqualified from working with children.

Tom Crowther, prosecuting, said Jenkins first came under investigation as part of Operation Ore, the UK's largest ever police hunt for internet paedophiles.

Jenkins was out of the country when police went to his home and seized computer equipment. He later surrendered to Newport police station. He was interviewed and bailed, and the then Conservative councillor was suspended from the council.

Subsequently, internet service group Yahoo contacted the police with information; it was discovered Jenkins had made and distributed more indecent images while he was on bail.

Mr Crowther said a total of 5,070 active, accessible images were discovered. A further 2,000 deleted images were also found. The majority were level one but more than 30 were levels four and five.

Judge Morris said everyone needed to know that those downloading pictures of this kind and distributing them to others would lose their liberty.

"If there were not a market for such images, children may not be abused in the first place, or not to the degree and in numbers that prevail nowadays. Those who download, store and distribute such imagery are contributing to children's abuse."

After the hearing, computer crime investigator, Gary Probert said: "In 35 years of working with Gwent Police, these are among the most horrendous images we have come across."