David Middlefell-Williams was forced out as managing director of Flintriver – a firm which 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 images.
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 24 September last year and he immediately told officers: “It was me – I’ve been looking, just looking.”
A sheriff yesterday told him he had “perpetuated” the abuse of children by sharing the images online.
Cyber crime experts found more than 5,500 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 in sex acts with 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 when the mobile phone was examined indecent images were found.”
Middlefell-Williams, 66, pleaded guilty on indictment to downloading indecent images of children between 8 March 2016 and 24 September 2017.
He further admitted possessing extreme pornography and distributing indecent images of children.
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.”