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Robin Barrett was sentenced to prison Friday in St. John's, after he pleaded guilty to child pornography charges. ((CBC) )

A former Anglican priest was imprisoned Friday, soon after he pleaded guilty to owning and distributing pornography featuring children as young as six months.

Robin Barrett, 51, will serve 2½ years in prison following a joint submission by the Crown and defence.

Barrett was charged in December 2009 with five charges. He pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and distributing child pornography, on Friday in provincial court in St. John's. The other three charges were dropped.

"I apologize to the children," Barrett told the court.

"By viewing and trading their images, I was victimizing them again."

Barrett also apologized to the court, his family, his former parishioners and other clergy.

After raiding his house in Conception Bay South, outside St. John's, police seized massive amounts of child pornography on Barrett's computer and on discs. In all, they found 3,451 video files and 31,460 illegal images.

Court was told that Barrett possessed images of children up to 11 years old.

Defence lawyer Doug Moores told the court that Barrett, who has expressed remorse and is seeking treatment, is no longer a member of the clergy.

Barrett was charged after undercover investigators with the Toronto Police Service obtained pornographic images from him in various online chat rooms.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary charged Barrett after being contacted by Ontario police.

After the charges were laid, Barrett was relieved of his duties as rector of a church in the Goulds neighbourhood of St. John's. Previously, he was the rector of a church in neighbouring Mount Pearl for nine years.

With files from the CBC's Glenn Payette