A paedophile from Wrexham described as having a degree of IT skill to hide much of his online activity has been jailed for 45 months.

Judge Niclas Parry said Robert Anthony Davies, 52, of Box Lane, Borras, had a “disturbing and unhealthy sexual interest in female children”.

It extended to an interest in the violent abuse, rape and torture of youngsters.

Police investigators said the number of messages far exceeded anything they had encountered before, a court heard.

But while his aim had been to cause harm, the judge said the reality was that it could not be proven any physical harm was caused or whether those involved in the chats were children or similarly “sick-minded” adults.

Davies must register as a sex offender for life and a sexual harm prevention order was made banning unsupervised contact with children.

He pleaded guilty to 22 offences including attempts to incite girls to engage in sexual activity and child porn charges.

Counsel Anna Pope, prosecuting at Mold Crown Court, said police had limited their investigation because of the size of the operation.

“The defendant’s intention was there, whether or not it was a child,” she said.

Davies’ activities came to light after a probe in Western Australia and police searched his home.

Miss Pope said 431 indecent images and movies of children were found and 482 prohibited images. Police discovered Davies had been chatting online using the “undernet”.

He showed a degree of sophistication to cover his tracks but had chats in which he sent links to child porn.

Davies referred to abducting and raping a child, talked about baby rape and gave advice to a user ‘Mr Paedo’. One user presented as a girl of 11 in Cyprus.

The prosecutor said an image involved the rape of a baby.

But, quizzed by police about whether he was a paedophile, Davies had replied: “Absolutely not.” He had no previous convictions.

Barrister John Hedgecoe, defending, said Davies had lived a strange and almost reclusive life, seemingly locked away in his spare bedroom for hours.

“Throughout the time since he was arrested this defendant has always insisted his problems began some years ago with post traumatic stress disorder,” said Mr Hedgecoe.

Investigating officer DC Morgan Thomas at North Wales Police said after the sentencing hearing: “We welcome the sentence and hope it will reinforce our commitment to eliminate all forms of child abuse.

“Robert Davies distributed a large number of indecent images and videos to a number of his associates, along with attempting to incite children to commit sexual acts.

“People who use social media in general should be mindful of communicating with others they do not know and very careful of the personal data, information and images they share.

 “North Wales Police work closely with partner agencies and are proactive in the apprehension and prosecution of those who are involved in all forms of child abuse.   

”Those who trade in indecent images should be aware their online activities will be ‘picked up’ by the authorities and they will be brought to justice.   

”Each and every time an image is taken, uploaded or viewed a child is abused and those who commit such vile acts must learn there are victims behind each and every image. ”

DI Tony Underhill added: “The chat content noted in this case is best described as horrific and particularly distressing for the investigators and analysts involved.

“It is clear the use of chat rooms under the term fantasy chat will not be accepted by law enforcement and the judiciary.

“What those involved within the chat rooms need to understand is that one person’s fantasy is another person’s reality.

“North Wales Police actively engage with the Lucy Faithful Foundation and support the Stop It Now campaign which available to those individuals who need help and advice with regards to their online behaviour.”

BLOB If you have concerns about anyone who may be in possession of indecent images of children contact North Wales Police on 101 or alternatively via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.