Five men have been jailed after they hacked and disclosed intimate pictures of hundreds of victims.

Samuel Robins, 35 of London Road, Westcliff, received 50 months for five counts of causing a computer to perform a function to secure unauthorised access to a programme or data and four counts of disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress.

Robins admitted to the offences and one count of unauthorised acts with intent to impair the operation of a computer and obtaining an article for supply to commit a computer misuse offence remain on file.

He has been made subject of various restraining orders.

During sentencing, His Honour Judge Andrew Hurst said: "Whether Robins carried out these offences due to some grudge he held against the young women, or simply in order to live out some kind of sexual fantasy is not clear.

“What is very clear is that he completely disregarded each of his victims rights to keep their data, including such private images of themselves, private.

“He set out to ensure that they each felt publicly embarrassed and ashamed.

Four other men from Sunderland, Stevenage, Eye and Hathern have also been jailed.

Senior Investigating Officer DCI Stuart Truss, who manages Essex Police’s Cyber Crime Unit said: “This is an excellent result for the team who have worked on an operation for three years.

“The hackers were targeting young women and captured their most intimate photographs for their own and others sexual gratification without their knowledge.

“Posting private intimate pictures of the victims without their consent can cause long lasting harm and distress to victims.

“I have to commend my team, led by Detective Sergeant Ian Collins and the case officer DC Arran Holmes. They have both worked tirelessly to get these results and to support victims."