A former National Crime Agency officer from Essex has admitted viewing indecent images of children on his work computer.

Adam Taylor, of Waltham Abbey, admitted two counts of misconduct in a public office, three counts of making indecent photographs of children and one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image.

The 40-year-old pleaded guilty to the six charges at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday, and was warned he is likely to be jailed at his sentencing hearing in August.

Judge Cole told him: “As you well know, this is a very serious batch of offences and the likely sentence is immediate custody.”

The judge ordered a pre-sentence report and adjourned sentencing to August 2 at the same court.

The court heard that Taylor was “enabled” by his role as a “grade five intelligence officer” in the NCA to access the dark web, although he was not required by his work to view such images.

He admitted committing misconduct by making indecent images of children on a work device between March 2019 and April 2022.

He made 221 category A images – the highest category of seriousness – and hundreds of category B and C images between May 2012 and April 2022.

The court heard he has been dismissed by the NCA for gross misconduct.

Taylor was bailed unconditionally ahead of his sentencing hearing.

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NCA director general of operations Rob Jones said: “The NCA is at the forefront of tackling online child abuse and it is vital that we identify and root out anybody within the agency involved in this or any other criminal activity.

“Whilst shocked and saddened that an NCA officer could be convicted of such crimes, we recognise that the scale of the online child sexual abuse threat means we must remain vigilant and work proactively, as we did in this case, to identify any potential risk in the agency.

“Individuals like Taylor have no place in law enforcement. It was other NCA officers, working diligently and covertly to protect the public, who were responsible for bringing him to justice.

“Behind each of those images recovered from Taylor’s devices was a vulnerable child who had been abused. We remain determined to pursue offenders like him wherever in society they operate, and to protect the victims of online child sexual abuse.”