A DISGRACED former police inspector who had chatted to paedophiles online about abusing youngsters was caught with 3,000 indecent images of children, a court heard.

Police swooped on Glenn Jones’ former home in Bicester in March following a tip-off he was downloading indecent images of children.

The retired police inspector, who had volunteered for a food bank, was arrested and a computer terminal, Samsung mobile and Apple Notebook seized during the raid.

Officers found 99 videos and nearly 3,000 indecent images of children on the 53-year-old’s equipment – more than 500 of which were the most serious category, including images of babies as young as one or two years old.

Jailing Jones for eight months, Judge Patrick Eccles QC said yesterday the retired policeman had fallen short of the standards expected of police officers.

Judge Eccles added: “You knew these were small children and they were likely to have been emotionally harmed as well as distressed by being abused.

“Men like you who indulge in these paedophilic interests do bring ruin and shame on themselves and their families, but worse than that, they encourage other vile paedophiles to take an interest in these images and to look at children being raped and abused.”

Prosecutor Cathy Olliver told the court Jones had tried to hide his Apple Notebook behind the toilet cistern.

She said the earliest images dated back to 2009, when Jones was still a serving police officer and that he had also shared them to other paedophiles in chat rooms.

She added: “He said they were all his and he knew it was illegal to possess them.

“He also said he went into online chat rooms to talk about abusing children. During those chats images were exchanged both ways.

“Aggravating factors are the age and vulnerability of the children depicted as there are babies present.”

Jones admitted three counts of making indecent images of children when he appeared at Banbury Magistrates’ Court last month.

The court heard he had joined the force when he was 16 and served for 32 years, spending most of it in Oxford before retiring three years ago.

Alexandra Bull, defending, told Oxford Crown Court her client was proud of his career and was now ashamed of his actions.

Ms Bull said Jones had struggled with his wife’s undiagnosed bipolar disorder, and that the breakdown of their marriage left him feeling isolated.

She told the court that Jones began talking about his interest in teenage girls to people in online chat rooms, but this led to him being sent images of much younger children.

She added: “It began with curiosity. It was maintained through this feeling for friendship he was experiencing and it then became a fantasy world.

“He experienced a dislocation from the reality of the fact that these children are real, that they are real victims of abuse.”

After retiring, Ms Bull said Jones, who now cares for his 83-year-old father at their home in Whitmore Vale, Greyshott, Hampshire, volunteered at a food bank in Bicester, but gave up after he was arrested.

She added that he was seeing a psychotherapist to try to address his offending and had shown remorse.

Jones was also handed a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and ordered to sign the sexual offenders’ register for a decade.