Officers seized Adam Eastoe's computer and discovered he had been downloading scores of child sex images.
The 36-year-old from Haughton Crescent, West Denton, Newcastle, pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court to 15 charges of making indecent images of children.
He further admitted possessing 162 photographs of children found after police arrested him late last year.
Recorder Ben Nolan adjourned sentence for reports and further remanded Eastoe on bail.
But he warned him: "That does not imply anything in relation to sentence the judge who deals with your case will have a completely free hand."
Eastoe must live at his home address and keep off any computer equipment as bail conditions.
He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register. The length of that registration will be fixed at sentence on January 8.