Edinburgh police officer had 900 child porn images

Liam Roberts
Liam Roberts

A POLICE officer once hailed a hero after saving a hockey player’s life has admitted sharing child pornography with fellow perverts online.

Liam Roberts, 35, was caught with almost 900 images when officers raided his home last year.

Roberts – who resigned from Police Scotland this week – was found to have downloaded images considered to be at the worst end of the spectrum.

And when the disgraced constable’s computer was analysed it became apparent he had been having sordid online chats with other abusers.

Investigating officers also found Roberts had sent two images to fellow perverts during the chats.

Roberts was praised in 2013 when he helped save the life of a young hockey player whose heart had stopped during a match. He was credited with starting the man’s heart twice and keeping him alive until paramedics arrived on the scene at Peffermill.

Yesterday, Roberts, from Fernieside Place, admitted possessing indecent images of children at his home between April 22, 2011 and October 12 last year when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

He also pleaded guilty to distributing indecent pictures to others between March 10 and September 27 last year.

Fiscal depute Melanie Ward told the court police attended at their colleague’s home with a search warrant in October last year.

Ms Ward said: “The accused is a serving police officer with the Police Service of Scotland and has eight years police service. In October last year police received information in relation to an Internet address that was uploading indecent images of children and this address was traced to the home address of the accused.

“He shares his home address with his partner and in October last year officers attended and found him present. He granted them entry to his home and he was asked about his Internet connection and computers.

“When asked if he had any indecent images of children on his computer he replied ‘Not that I can think of, no – I don’t know what to say to that’.”

Police then seized his computer equipment and the officer was subsequently arrested and charged. The fiscal told the court 874 images were found in total on Roberts’ computer – including 18 pictures at Category A.

Lena Doherty, defending, said: “He resides at his home address with his partner of six years. He was a serving police officer with Police Scotland and he is a first time offender.”

Sheriff Kenneth McGowan placed Roberts on the Sex Offenders Register and deferred full sentence to next month.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “A serving officer was charged in connection with the possession and distribution of indecent images of children in Howdenhall on October 21, 2016. The 35-year-old was immediately put on restricted duties pending the outcome of the court case. He pled guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on June 8 and is no longer employed by Police Scotland.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com