A former police officer who was unmasked by his own colleagues in an undercover operation, has been jailed for committing a string of online child sex crimes.

Married father-of-one Nick Pool, from Penrith, Cumbria, was exposed as a paedophile during conversations in an internet chatroom with an undercover police officer who was pretending to be a 12-year-old girl.

He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years at Carlisle Crown Court on Friday.

Pool's off-duty offending - committed in the Penrith and Ulverston areas - prompted an investigation that unearthed further criminal conduct.

This included online "fantasies and role play" with others "purporting to be young girls".

Pool admitted six counts attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity and three counts of attempting to incite.

In one conversation he gave his real age to the "girl" and ironically warned her "a lot of pedos in here be so careful" before suggesting they meet up to "teach you about sex".

He also pleaded guilty to charges of making and possessing indecent photographs of children - some classed in the most serious category A - and one of publishing an obscene article.

A serving officer based at Barrow police station at the time of the offences between 2013 and 2016, Pool was dismissed by Cumbria Constabulary in February without notice after he entered guilty pleas.

Nicholas Pool has brought shame upon himself and the Constabulary, and he has rightly been sentenced today for these serious crimes.

Deputy Chief Constable Michelle Skeer

Pool must sign the sex offenders' register for life and was made subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

His lawyer said Pool's wife has filed for divorce and that his client had "destroyed" his life.