A CRUISE ship worker who filmed himself sexually abusing children as young as seven on prestigious liners has been jailed for four years.

Cunard worker Paul Trotter, 34, was working as a play zone supervisor on the Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary II liners when the abuse happened.

The former au pair, who had planned to set up a nursery after leaving Cunard, was only caught by chance as police investigated the trade in child porn over the internet.

Officers raided the home in Salisbury he shared with his girlfriend and seized his computer equipment as part of their investigation.

They discovered almost 1,000 indecent images of children and the investigation uncovered abuse stretching back over a decade and spanning the globe.

Claire Marlow, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court on Friday that it was clear that some films had been shot covertly on the cruise liners where he had worked.

Trotter, formerly of Salisbury, but now living in Pontefract, Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of sexual assault of a child, five of taking, five making and one possession of indecent images of children.

Jailing him, Judge Douglas Field said: “It is most disturbing to see you have been employed with children up to now; firstly as an au pair but then working with Cunard shipping line on their cruise ships looking after the young children of passengers.

“When the parents dropped their children off you led them to believe they would be in safe hands and nothing remotely like this would happen to them.

“Whilst abusing them you filmed them, and filmed them for your own sexual gratification.”

Trotter was banned from working with children, will have to register as a sex offender for life and was made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order restricting his liberty.