A Fife company boss was today jailed 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, had been downloading indecent images of children.
They raided his home on September 24 last year – and he immediately told cops: “It was me – I’ve been looking, just looking.”
A sheriff told him he had “perpetuated” the abuse of children by sharing the images online.
Cyber crime experts found more than 5500 sick pictures of children on his phone – including 1133 at the highest end of the scale used to rate such images – as well as 58 involving animals.
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 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 the when the mobile phone was examined indecent images were found.
“There were 1133 images at category A, 1011 at category B and 3537 at category C.”
Middlefell-Williams (66) of Drum Well, Cupar Muir, 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: “He became desensitised to where he was and it was almost a fantasy world that he entered.
“He found himself almost detached from the real world and it took the police coming to the door and standing in court for him to snap out of that.
“It is something he wishes to continue to receive help for which would reduce any risk to the public in the future.”
Sheriff Alastair Brown jailed Middlefell-Williams for four months and placed him on the sex offenders register for seven years.
He said: “You shared these images and that goes beyond simply making an audience available for them.
“It perpetuates it and makes it possible for others to see these things
“That goes beyond a very unhealthy interest and in to participation in the making of the material.”