A SELLAFIELD police officer has appeared before a court charged with downloading thousands of child abuse images.

Serving Civil Nuclear Constabulary police constable Shaun Mandale, 45, declined to enter pleas to any of the six allegations that he faces when he appeared before magistrates in Carlisle. The court was told he faces six charges. 

Three related to him allegedly downloading indecent child images. Those allegations, all relating to alleged offending between February 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, are as follows:

* That he downloaded 7,886 indecent child images which have been classes as Category A, the most serious kind of child abuse image.

* That he downloaded 2,597 Category B child abuse images.

* And that he downloaded 7,651 Category C indecent child images.

The defendant, of Belvedere Street, Workington, is also accused of possessing 96 extreme pornographic images, including bestiality, possessing a prohibited image of a child, and possessing more than 18,000 indecent child images.

After legal discussions, magistrates concluded that the case should be dealt with by a judge at Carlisle Crown Court.

They sent the case there for a hearing on July 22.

In the meantime, they ruled, the defendant, who spoke only to confirm his name and personal details, will be remanded in custody. It was confirmed in court that the defendant is a serving officer with the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.

He was arrested on January 10. When he appeared at Carlisle's Rickergate court, the defendant was represented by defence lawyer John Smith.