A Barrie man convicted of sex crimes against children has been sentenced to prison.

James Sarsfield was back in a Bracebridge court on Friday morning, as a judge handed him an 18 year prison sentence. Sarsfield will get credit for the 18 months he has already served.

The 35-year-old pleaded guilty to sexual assault with a weapon, three counts of sexual interference and making, possessing and distributing child pornography.

In sentencing Sarsfield, the judge said "the court has a duty to protect children.”

There were several factors in the judge's decision, including the age of the victims, the violence that was involved, and the sharing of images of the brutal acts.

The Crown was seeking a sentence of 15 to 18 years, while the defence pleaded for a sentence of eight to 10 years with credit for time already served.

Earlier in his trial, the Crown described Sarsfield as “sadistic and extreme.”

The defence argued that Sarsfield was a victim of sexual and physical assault as a child.

Sarsfield did give a statement during his sentencing.

"I wish I could go back and change what I have done, but I can't. [I] must live with what I have done," he says. "For the first time in my life, I have nobody who loves me. I am alone."

Family members of the victims walked out of the courtroom before Sarsfield even spoke.

Sarsfields lawyer says she left the courthouse this was a challenging and very sad case.

In fact she called it the most difficult trial of her 40 year career.

CTV Barrie’s Rob Cooper is in court and will have more on the sentencing tonight at six.