A senior education official at Bournemouth Council has admitted making more than 600 indecent images of children.

Robert Ian Finlay, 53, of Barnes Crescent, East Howe, pleaded guilty to 17 offences committed between January 1 2009 and January 10 this year.

Nearly 100 images have been described by prosecutors as the "highest level of indecency."

He will be sentenced on August 16.

Finlay, wearing a smart shirt and tie, admitted all charges during a five-minute hearing before Judge John Harrow.  No details of the offences were given but the circumstances are likely to be outlined at the sentencing hearing.

Indecent pictures of children are rated between one and five with level one images said to be the least serious and level five the most serious.

The charges related to 328 level one images, 23 level two, 156 level three, 86 level four and eight level five.

Judge Harrow warned Finlay he is now a convicted sex offender and must report to police.

Finlay has now been fired from his duties at Bournemouth council and also resigned from a position as a governor at The Bourne Academy in West Howe.

According to his online CV he taught at the Epiphany Primary school in Muscliffe during the 1990s and at Winton Primary school between 1994 and 2004, where he was the school's ICT co-ordinator.

Jane Portman, Executive Director for Adults’ & Children’s Services said: “This has been a difficult time for all those in Children’s Services and many in the wider Council, with staff genuinely shocked and stunned that one of their own colleagues has committed such serious crimes. 

“We have robust recruitment processes in place at the Council and full background checks, including Criminal Records Bureau disclosures, are made on any individual coming to work in Children’s Services. The case was no different with this individual, who came back with a clean record.   

“As soon as the matter was brought to our attention Mr Finlay was immediately suspended from his post. He was subsequently dealt with through to the Council’s disciplinary proceedings and been dismissed.

“The Council remains committed to the safeguarding of our children and young people and continues to work closely with the Police and other agencies on investigations to root out all activity which places children at risk.”