A former policeman who admitted possessing nearly 9,000 indecent images of children has avoided prison
Stephen McGoldrick quit Gloucestershire Police in July after he was charged with five counts of making indecent images of children.
He was sentenced to an 18-month community order and will carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
The 50-year-old has been placed on the sex offenders register for five years and is the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the same period.
Judge Peter Blair QC said the public would be “better served” by a sentence focused on rehabilitation.
“You have fallen from grace in a massive way due to your former employment as a police officer. You have shown considerable remorse,” he said.
“You must understand that I impose this sentence because I have concluded there is a good prospect of rehabilitation which can be best achieved through a community order rather than a custodial sentence.”
The court heard indecent images were recovered from a mobile phone belonging to McGoldrick when police were investigating a separate matter in April.
A search of further devices found 8,519 images described as “abhorrent” by the judge.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Hanson said: “Police officers are expected to protect people, especially those who are particularly vulnerable, such as children. I'm pleased to say this man, who has betrayed both the public and his colleagues, will never hold such office again.”
“These serious offences involved the abuse of innocent children, a horrendous crime which seems to be even more so when committed by a person who is in a position of trust and knows the devastating impact child abuse has.”