Police officer at Sellafield nuclear site accused of making thousands of child sexual abuse images

Shaun Mandale also faces charges accusing him of possessing extreme pornographic images featuring bestiality. Credit: Craig McGlasson News

A serving police officer in Cumbria has appeared in court charged with making and possessing more than 18,000 indecent photographs of children.

Shaun Mandale, a 45-year-old civil nuclear constabulary officer at the Sellafield nuclear plant, faces a total of six charges.

He faces three charges alleging the making of indecent images of children - 7,886 classed in category A, the most serious; 2,597 in category B; and 7,651 in category C.

A fourth charge alleges the possession of indecent photographs of children- a total of 18,134 according to court papers.

A fifth alleges the possession of 96 extreme pornographic images, featuring bestiality.

And a sixth charge alleges possession of 52 prohibited images of children.

All charges span a period of time between 2 February, 2020, and 1 July, 2021.

Mandale, of Belvedere Street, Workington, appeared at Carlisle Crown Court on Friday 22 July and was due to enter pleas to the six charges .

However, he was not legally represented at the hearing. The barrister instructed in his case was involved in ongoing nationwide days of action by defence lawyers seeking improved pay and conditions.

As a result, Judge Ian Unsworth QC concluded it would not be appropriate for Mandale to enter pleas at this stage. "Through no fault of your own you are not represented by counsel today," Judge Unsworth told the defendant.

Mandale’s case was adjourned to 21 October.

A background report was ordered for that hearing and Mandale was granted bail. One condition states that he must not have unsupervised contact with any child aged under-18.

A Civil Nuclear Constabulary spokesman said: "I can confirm Shaun Mandale, a serving CNC police officer, is appearing in court today charged with six counts relating to making and possessing indecent images of children."

The Sellafield-based officer was arrested in February this year.

The spokesman added: "As criminal proceedings remain ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

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