A former Rotorua policeman has admitted possessing child pornography and other illegal material on his computer.

Robert Theunissen, 65, now employed as a non-sworn speed camera operator for police, pleaded guilty to 18 charges of possessing objectionable material when he appeared in Rotorua District Court this week, the Rotorua Daily Post reported.

The material, which included child pornographic movies and photographs, including women involved in bestiality, was discovered when he sent his computer off to be upgraded.

His lawyer Brett Cooper said he had accidentally downloaded the pornography.

When spoken to by police, Theunissen admitted viewing the images of young girls while using a file sharing programme, but said that he did not think he had downloaded any of the material.

Theunissen, who has been stood down from duties at the Rotorua police station, was remanded on bail for sentencing on January 21.

Bay of Plenty police would not say whether Theunissen would be reinstated at his job as the legal process was still continuing, as well as an internal police employment process.

- NZPA