A Wirral vicar has admitted downloading indecent images of children.

Rev Ian Hughes, of Brougham Road, Wallasey, pleaded guilty to 16 charges of making indecent images and movies and one of possessing extreme porn.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the images and films ranged in seriousness from level one to the most extreme group, category five, with the majority of the 8,000-plus items in category one.

The offences were said to have occurred on or before May 22 last year, the day he was arrested.

The 46-year-old, who was Priest-in-Charge of St Paul’s in Seacombe and St Luke’s in Poulton, was suspended by the Bishop of Chester immediately after his arrest.

The court heard Hughes has no previous convictions and the offences do not include distribution, but Judge David Aubrey, QC, warned him that all sentencing options will be open when he returns to court on January 28.

Sentence was adjourned after his lawyer Peter Killen asked for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

Hughes was further remanded on bail on condition he does not have unsupervised contact with children.

He was ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders Register.