A man has been jailed after a court heard how he had films of babies being tortured on his computer.

Nicholas John Reynolds was told some of the material found by police was simply sadistic and evil.

In addition to the three films with audio which clearly showed babies being tortured, Reynolds, 57, had a huge collection of some 18,000 pornographic images and films of child sex abuse.

He had sent away photographs of children he himself had taken – and taken off Facebook –so their faces could be used in sexualised films.

They had been superimposed onto the bodies of others doing sexual acts.

Reynolds, walking with the aid of two crutches because of ill-health and described at Mold Crown Court as an isolated character, had shared images of the dark web with other like-minded people.

But it was stressed in court that it was impossible to say how many were shared or what the nature of them were.

Reynolds, formerly of Tir y Fron Lane in Pontybodkin near Mold, was jailed for three years.

He was placed on the sex offender register for life and a life-time sexual harm prevention order was made preventing him from spending time with children unsupervised.

The judge, Mr Recorder Simon Mills, said the films of the babies were particularly depraved and shocking in nature.

He branded it “sadistic and evil material”.

Children as young as one or two were being tortured and suffering severe distress.

An additional feature was that photographs of children he knew had been superimposed by evil people onto the body of other children who were being abused.

It had all gone on for a period of between five and 10 years, the judge said.

Mr Mills said Reynolds had denied having a sexual interest in children until he had been seen by a probation officer preparing the pre-sentence report.

He had been in contact with the Lucy Faithful Foundation, which was sometimes a good first step, but it did not appear to have any effect on Reynolds.

He had either done that “for cosmetic purposes” or it had such limited value that in reality it would have no impact on his sentence, the judge said.

Mr Mills said it was important for individuals like Reynolds to realise that whatever levels of depravity was in their own minds, the images he had were of real children being abused.

“In this case you have looked at images of an evil, evil kind,” the judge said.

Reynolds admitted that between 2007 and June of last year he made 2,900 images and movies at the most serious category A, 3,761 at category B and 11,357 category C.

Reynolds admitted distributing a category C pseudo image of a child.

Barrister Joe Maxwell, prosecuting, said police acting on information visited Reynolds' home where he lived with his elderly father.

Reynolds told officers they would find indecent images of children.

Interviewed, he said he regularly accessed dark material. The images were in a hidden folder.

Defence barrister Simon Killeen said the number of sadistic films involving very young children was limited to a tiny number.

Reynolds was effectively a man of good character and references showed there was another side to him.

He was a man in constant pain with spinal and other difficulties, his mobility was limited and he was a diabetic.

It was clear a prison sentence would be very difficult for such a man to serve, he said.

“His mobility is extremely limited and he is in constant pain,” he said.

He had been punished already.

When his offending became known, he had to leave his rented accommodation and had to find alternative accommodation for his elderly father.