Paedophile police officer caught with 8,000 indecent images of kids spared jail
A former policeman has escaped a prison sentence after he admitted possessing more than 8,000 indecent images of children.
PC Stephen McGoldrick, 50, quit Gloucestershire Police after he was charged with five counts of making indecent images of children.
He appeared at Bristol Crown Court on Wednesday to be sentenced after previously admitting the offences.
McGoldrick, of Gadlys Street, Aberdare , was sentenced to an 18-month community order with 40 days of rehabilitation and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
Judge Peter Blair QC, the Recorder of Bristol, also placed McGoldrick on the sex offenders register for five years and made him the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the same period.
Passing sentence the judge said: “These were abhorrent images which I believe you now acknowledge and understand have real victims.
“You have fallen from grace in a massive way due to your former employment as a police officer. You have shown considerable remorse.
“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.
“You fall into a category where the public will be better served by this type of sentence.”
The court heard indecent images were recovered from a mobile phone belonging to McGoldrick when police were investigating a separate matter in April this year.
Further inquiries were carried out and search warrants were executed at addresses in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and in Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taf , in June.
Several electronic devices were recovered and when they were examined, experts found a total of 8,519 indecent images – five at category A, eight at category B, and the remainder at category C.
McGoldrick, who had joined Gloucestershire Police in 2008, resigned before he was charged in July and pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court last month.
James Haskell, defending, said: “The convictions have already had significant consequences for him. He knows he has forever lost his good character and is ashamed to have put his family through what he has.”
Mr Haskell explained McGoldrick had gone through significant personal difficulties in recent years, supporting his partner financially through a protracted custody battle, leading to him accruing debts of £36,000.
The court heard McGoldrick also struggled to deal with his partner developing cancer, the death of his elder brother, and his mother’s ill health.
“All of this left him at almost breaking point and led him to accessing illegal pornography,” Mr Haskell said.
“He knows it was wrong but was clearly in a very bad way and, in his own words, he was on a path to self-destruction.”
Paedophile cop admits owning 9,000 indecent images of children
A response officer has appeared in court today (Tuesday 13 August) and admitted to making thousands of indecent images of children.
Former PC Stephen McGoldrick, 50, appeared at Bristol Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to five counts of making indecent images of children.
All counts related to McGoldrick downloading or viewing images on the internet.
The offences were committed between 2008 and 2019 and came to light when indecent images were found on McGoldrick’s mobile phone in April this year.
Gloucestershire Constabulary subsequently secured warrants at two addresses linked to McGoldrick and seized multiple devices from them which included a laptop and USB flash drives.
There were found to be a total of five Category A images, 23 Category B images and 9,134 Category C indecent images of children across ten devices.
McGoldrick had been suspended from the Constabulary as soon as the allegations came to light.
He later resigned from the Force when he was charged with the offences last month (July). He is due to face gross misconduct proceedings.
McGoldrick has been bailed with conditions to attend Bristol Crown Court for sentence on 11 September.
Bail conditions include to not have contact with persons under the age of 18 and to reside at a specified address which is not in Gloucestershire.