A FORMER Greater Manchester policeman - employed in the High Tech Crime Unit at Bolton - has admitted downloading child abuse images.

43-year-old Steven Halliwell had been due to face trial yesterday but changed his plea to guilty to four offences of making indecent images in all three categories of seriousness involving a total of 314 indecent photographs.

Halliwell had previously pleaded guilty to stealing three Apple laptops, 15 iPhones, two iPad minis and three Samsung mobile phones between July 21, 2011 and February 9, 2016 worth a total of £4,804 and belonging to Greater Manchester Police.

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The defendant, who resigned from the force in May after being suspended, has denied 11 other indecent image charges and these are to be dropped.

His barrister, Michael Brady, told Liverpool Crown Court that Halliwell, a father-of-two, “denies he ever had a sexual interest in children” but accepts he incidentally created the images while formatting a hard drive.

Judge Andrew Menary, QC, further remanded him on bail until December 13 to enable a pre-sentence report to be prepared and ordered him to sign on the Sex Offenders Register.

He warned Halliwell, of Lee Avenue, Great Lever, Bolton, that adjourning the case “was no indication of the sentence”

Adding: “You must now prepare for the possibility, if not the inevitability, of a prison sentence”.

GMP made no comment on the case.