A disgraced former policeman has pleaded guilty to possessing more than 9,000 indecent images of children and will be sentenced next month.
Stephen McGoldrick downloaded and viewed the images over the internet while working for Gloucestershire police, and was caught in April when indecent images were found on his phone.
A subsequent search of his home and a second address found thousands more images, including five that were of the most extreme nature.
McGoldrick was suspended immediately after the allegations came to light and resigned when he was charged in July.
He has pleaded guilty to five counts of making indecent images of children – a charge given to offenders who view illegal images and who have not necessarily created them themselves.
The 50-year-old has been bailed with instructions not to have contact with anyone under the age of 18. He will also face police gross misconduct charges.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Hanson from Gloucestershire Constabulary said such crimes can hurt the trust the public place in the police force.
“These were very serious offences involving the abuse of innocent children who we should be seeking to protect,” he said.
“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.”