A WOMAN has appeared in court after she sent indecent images of her child to a man who had a sexual interest in children.

The man, who lives out of county, was arrested after he had been talking to what he thought was a child online. However, he was communicating with an undercover police officer.

His devices were seized and on examination, indecent images of a child were found.

Following investigative work the images were established to have been taken in Gloucestershire, and the Constabulary's Indecent Images of Children team took on the case.

The woman was arrested and following an investigation she was charged with taking and distributing category C indecent images of her child.

Data from her phone showed that she knew the man she had been having an affair with had a criminal history, the nature and severity of his offending and therefore that he might pose a risk.

The woman is due to be sentenced at a later date and is on court bail with conditions to have no unsupervised contact with anyone aged under 18.

The man, who had 17 previous convictions, admitted to sexual communication with a child and possession of indecent images of children.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Amy Greenway said: "We've only not named the woman because we are protecting the victim, but we wanted to publicise this case to show the behind the scenes work which goes on to help protect children.

"The home is meant to be a safe place for a child, but we sadly know that this is not always the case, and that people instead prey on those who are most vulnerable. 

"It is even more awful when that is done by someone who is meant to protect them, and should be a trusted adult.

"Unfortunately her motives are unclear as she refused to answer any questions posed to her during interview.

"However, there would be no excuse for this despicable behaviour and we are pleased that this child is now safeguarded.

"Our team are dedicated to arresting those who pose a risk to children and putting them before the court. We hope the court outcome reflects the awful trauma and risk this mother exposed her child to." 

Gloucestershire Constabulary has a Child Exploitation team and Indecent Images of Children team which investigate these type of offences.

If you are worried about someone's behaviour towards a child, or something you have seen, heard or been told, you can use Sarah's Law to find out if that person is a risk to children.

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme lets you formally ask the police whether someone who has contact with a child or children has a record for child sexual (paedophile) offences or poses a risk to the child or children for some other reason.

Read more on this here: Sarah's Law (Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme) | Gloucestershire Constabulary

If you are concerned for a child's safety, you can report this to police by calling 101 for non-emergencies or 999 in the case of an emergency. Read more on this here: How to report possible child abuse | Gloucestershire Constabulary

If you have concerns about your own use of the internet or inappropriate thoughts or behaviour about children, or you are worried about how someone you know behaves, then contact the Lucy Faithfull Foundation https://www.lucyfaithfull.org.uk/.

You can also call the confidential Stop It Now! helpline: 0808 1000 900 or email help@stopitnow.org.uk.