THE owner of a toy company has been jailed after being caught with images of infants being "tortured".

Bournemouth Crown Court heard Ian Buckingham had more than 1,100 images of child abuse in the most serious category, more than 600 of which were videos, on computers seized from his home in Roumelia Lane, Boscombe, in December 2017.

A police forensics officer with some 17 years experience said the images were "the worst he has ever seen in his career", said prosecutor David Reid.

The court heard Buckingham, 40, "hates himself" for what he had done, having started to view the images after the death of his mother in 2016, while self-medicating with drugs.

Mr Reid said: "The sample images show very young children, one particular case cited an infant perhaps no older than 12 months."

He said "in excess of 100" of the most serious images, in category A, "depict young children little more than babies, clearly being tortured and put in pain".

In total Buckingham, who has one previous conviction from 2001 for an unrelated offence, had 1,146 still and moving images in category A, 373 in category B, 3,175 in category C and 95 'extreme pornographic' images depicting bestiality.

He admitted 19 counts of possessing indecent images or extreme pornography.

Buckingham is listed as the director of toy firm Fidget Brothers, which has its registered address at his former flat in Boscombe. The court heard he had "given that flat up" as it was "no longer suitable" and currently had no home address.

In mitigation, Kevin Hill said: "Mr Buckingham says that he hates himself for what he did. He says he wants to get well."

The court heard the defendant had been diagnosed with "mental illness" and "serious migraines" and had "suffered considerable anxiety since these offences, and continues to do so in prison".

Mr Hill said his client "wants a better life for himself" and had taken on three jobs in prison to "make the very best of the time he has".

He said Buckingham plans to study for an art degree on leaving prison.

Sentencing Buckingham to 20 months in prison, Judge Peter Crabtree OBE said his actions had helped to fuel "a vile industry" which would have "a lifelong impact on the children who are subject to abuse and the women, and it is always women, who have to perform vile acts with animals".

Buckingham was made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and required to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.