A policeman has admitted to possessing more than 9,000 indecent images of children.
Pc Stephen McGoldrick, 50, viewed and downloaded the illegal images over the internet while working for Gloucestershire Constabulary.
The response officer was caught in April this year when indecent images were found on his mobile phone, and a subsequent search at two addresses linked to him found more than 9,000 different images on his laptop and other devices.
Of the images found, downloaded or viewed between 2008 and 2019, five were of the most extreme nature and classed as Category A.
McGoldrick was suspended after the allegations came to light, and resigned from the force when he was charged in July.
On Tuesday at Bristol Magistrates’ Court he pleaded guilty to five counts of making indecent images of children, a charge given to offenders who view the illegal images and who do not necessarily need to have created them themselves.
McGoldrick was bailed and will be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on September 11, with instructions not to have contact with persons under the age of 18 and to reside at a specified address.
Following the hearing Detective Chief Inspector Chris Hanson from Gloucestershire Constabulary said: “These were very serious offences involving the abuse of innocent children who we should be seeking to protect.
“This abhorrent crime is completely unacceptable, and seems even worse when committed by a police officer who should hold a place of trust and respect in the community.
“There is certainly no place for individuals like this within Gloucestershire Constabulary.”
McGoldrick is also due to face police gross misconduct proceedings.