YouTuber Austin Jones gets 10 year prison sentence

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Austin JonesImage source, Austin Jones/Facebook

A former YouTube star has been sentenced to ten years in prison in the US after pleading guilty to a charge of receiving indecent images of children.

Austin Jones admitted encouraging six underage girls to send him sexually explicit videos in private messages, telling some they needed to "prove" that they were his biggest fans.

Jones had built up a profile based around his covers of famous pop songs.

The 26-year-old had 500,000 subscribers on YouTube and 225,000 on Twitter.

Both accounts have now been deleted.

YouTube blocked Jones' channel from carrying advertising following his arrest in 2017 but was criticised for being slow to remove it completely.

Jones, from Illinois, had also admitted to using Facebook on around 30 other occasions to entice underage girls to send him explicit photos and videos.

He told some of his victims that the videos were part of a modelling opportunity and others that he would help them to boost their Instagram accounts.

"Production and receipt of child pornography are extraordinarily serious offences that threaten the safety of our children and communities," said Assistant US Attorney Katherine Neff Welsh in a statement.

"Jones's actions took something from his victims and their families that they will never be able to get back."