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LONDON (AP) _ A senior Roman Catholic clergyman was jailed for nine months Monday for having more than 30,000 photographs and computer images of children involved in sex acts.

The Rev. Michael O'Kelly, the dean of Reading, had pleaded guilty to a single charge of making indecent images of a child between June 1997 and October 2000.

Prosecutors said there was no evidence to suggest that O'Kelly had shared the images with others or physically abused children.

O'Kelly, 47, who was being treated at a hospital in southern England, was placed under a six-year supervision order during which time authorities will monitor his behavior. He was banned from ever working with children.

Reading Crown Court also ordered that his name be added to the national register of sex offenders.

Prosecutors said the images of children, found on videos, magazines and stored on computer disks, also involved bestiality and were ``disturbing, degrading and disgusting.''

Police and Customs officials arrested O'Kelly in October at the house he shared with another priest at Tilehurst, near Reading, after a long investigation.

Passing sentence, Justice Stanley Spence said O'Kelly's case ``is indeed a tragedy.''

``What you have done assists to perpetrate the abuse of children, the mere fact that you have indulged in it perpetrates those who assist in this awful treatment of children,'' he said.

O'Kelly told police he ran up telephone bills of up to $2,200 a month by spending hours in Internet chat rooms and downloading images from the Web.

In a statement read out in court, he said that ``having gained access to the Internet, I couldn't control it. I was afraid, but I followed. I simply did not or could not control it.''

When O'Kelly was charged, he was placed on administrative leave, the church's term for suspension and officials said his position would be considered after sentencing.

There was no immediate word on Monday about his future.