A civil servant had more of the worst type of child sex abuse images in his possession than in any other case ever investigated in the UK, a court was told yesterday.
South Belfast man Barry James Shaw (31) also admitted in police interviews to boasting online that he fantasised about the rape and torture of children.
He further admitted to police that he wished it was he who had snatched toddler Madeleine McCann in Portugal in 2007.
Shaw, of Balfour Avenue in Belfast, yesterday admitted downloading and distributing images of children being abused.
Standing in the dock of Belfast Crown Court, dressed in a brown coat and jeans, he pleaded guilty to 24 charges of making indecent images of children and a further four of distributing indecent images, on dates between February 2006 and August 2009.
Following applications by solicitor advocate Dennis Maloney, Shaw was released on continuing bail pending the completion of pre-sentence probation reports, as well as psychiatric reports. He will be sentenced next month.
During an earlier court hearing it was revealed that when experts analysed Shaw's computer they uncovered more category five child pornography images — the most extreme type of such images — than ever before found in a single case in the UK.
The court also heard that Shaw confessed to boasting about sickening fantasies in online chats with other perverts.