A company boss has been told he faces jail after he admitted amassing a huge cache of child abuse images and “trading” them online with other perverts.
David Middlefell-Williams was forced out as managing director of Flintriver — a firm he founded 18 years ago which provides branding services to councils, universities, law firms and some of Scotland’s most prestigious golf courses — within days of being caught in possession of the sick stash.
Police were tipped off that someone using an internet connection at his address in Cupar, Fife, had been downloading indecent images of children.
They raided his home on September 24 last year – and he immediately told officers: “It was me — I’ve been looking, just looking.”
Cyber crime experts found more than 5,500 sick pictures of children on his phone, including 1,133 at the highest end of the scale used to rate such images, as well as 58 of women engaging in sex acts with dogs and horses.
Fiscal depute Sue Ruta told Dundee Sheriff Court that when he was interviewed by police he admitted looking at an app on his phone and finding pictures of young girls in “provocative” poses.
He then went on to use another app that allowed him to “trade” images with other online sex offenders.
She said: “A search of the property commenced and items were seized for examination including a mobile phone.
“During an initial examination of the items, indecent images were recovered.
“They were taken by police for forensic examination and when the mobile phone was examined indecent images were found.
“There were 1,133 images at category A, 1,011 at category B and 3,537 at category C.”
Middlefell-Williams, 66, of Drum Well, Cupar Muir, Cupar, Fife, pleaded guilty on indictment to downloading indecent images of children between March 8 2016 and September 24 2017.
He further admitted possessing extreme pornography and distributing indecent images of children.
Defence solicitor David Bell said: “I’ve been through the definitive guidelines with him and that there is a risk of a custodial sentence.”He has recognised immediately he has a problem and he engaged with an agency designed to assist him with that.
“He has no previous convvictions and has been on bail since September 26.”
Sheriff Alastair Brown deferred sentence for social work background reports and released Middlefell-Williams on bail meantime.
He was also placed on the sex offenders register ahead of the sentencing date in July.
The sheriff said: “Distribution of indecent photographs of children is something I regard as very serious and carries a very serious possibility of a custodial sentence.”