A POLICEMAN has resigned in disgrace after he was caught with a horrific haul of images of toddlers being sexually abused.

James Paul, 37, kept the banned filth, which included pictures of children being bound and abused, on a computer and a USB stick at his home in Bishopton.

The married officer, who has two children, was suspended from his job as a constable with Police Scotland and has since quit.

He has now been placed on the Sex Offenders Register for hoarding the images at the home he shared with his wife and kids.

Paul also faces being locked up for the offence after he admitted being in possession of the illegal images.

He appeared in the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court this week to plead guilty to the single charge against him – being in possession of indecent images of children.

Paul admitted breaking Section 52A(1) of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 by having a total of 38 files spread across the two devices at his detached home on December 6, 2017.

The court heard colleagues raided the five-bedroom property after receiving intelligence that indecent images of children were being stored there.

A team of six officers went to Paul's home at around 8.15am and seized his computer equipment.

Procurator fiscal depute Pamela Brady told the court that 33 images were found on a black Lenovo laptop and a further five were found on a USB stick.

She added that, of the 33 found on the laptop, five were categorised by experts as being the most extreme form of child sex abuse images there is, involving animals and sadism.

Mrs Brady said one of the images showed a three-year-old girl being abused.

Seven of the images on the laptop were categorised as being the next extreme there is, with one showing a girl aged about three being sexually abused.

Defence solicitor Ian Cahill handed over reports to be passed to social workers ahead of sentencing, including one from Stop it Now – an organisation working to reduce the sexual abuse of children.

The lawyer said: "These may be of assistance to the criminal justice social worker when preparing the reports.

"Mr Paul has tendered his resignation from his employment, which has been accepted. Other than that, I have nothing to add."

Sheriff Susan Sinclair called for background reports to be prepared ahead of sentencing, deferred sentence until August for that to be done and placed Paul on the Sex Offenders' Register.

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: "We are aware of the officer's appearance at court and we await the full outcome of court proceedings."