A Fife businessman has been jailed for “perpetuating” the market for child abuse after admitting sharing indecent images.
David Middlefell-Williams will spend the next four months in prison and a further seven years on the sex offenders register after admitting downloading and sharing more than 5,500 degrading images of children being abused.
Middlefell-Williams was recently kicked out of the graphic design company he established almost two decades ago after telling Dundee Sheriff Court he had used mobile phone apps to look at and distribute the sick stash.
More than 1,100 of the images were deemed category A – pictures showing the most serious type of abuse.
Defence solicitor David Bell had suggested Middlefell-Willliams would be suitable for a non-custodial sentence but Sheriff Alastair Brown jailed him, saying the guidelines regarding the sentencing of people found sharing abusive images were clear.
He said: “Given this incident involved him being shut in a room for hours on end I would not think being stuck in a house for hours on end as suitable.
“I’ve said repeatedly downloading images provides a market for the abuse of young children.
“Someone who shares images doesn’t just make a market for these images, but perpetuates it.
“I will make the assumption you were part of a very unhealthy online community.
“I will also assume you were not sharing the images commercially.
“You shared these images and it perpetuated the market. I do not see any alternative to a custodial sentence.”
Middlefell-Williams, 66, of Cupar Muir, Cupar, pled guilty 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.
Fiscal depute Sue Ruta said when he was interviewed by police he admitted looking at an app on his phone and found pictures of young girls in “provocative” poses.
He then went on to use another app that allowed him to “trade” in the 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 on the when the mobile phone was examined indecent images were found.
“There were 1,133 images at category A, 1011 at category B and 3537 at category C.”
Prior to his arrest Middlefell-Williams served 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.