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Man (55) admits downloading and distributing indecent images of young children while in Inverness

By Ali Morrison

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A 55-year-old man who downloaded and distributed videos of children under five years of age being sexually abused then sent sexualised messages to "girls" he thought were young teenagers.

But Anthony Williams was actually communicating with a member of a paedophile hunter group and another adult woman.

Williams, who previously lived in Kenneth Street, Inverness but is understood to be now living in Drumnadrochit, sent photographs of himself, gave his date of birth and sent a video of himself performing a sex act.

This led to his arrest by police and at Inverness Sheriff Court, he admitted sex offences of causing a person pretending to be a child to engage in sexual communication, attempting to cause an older child to look at sexual images and communicating indecently.

He also pleaded guilty to downloading and distributing indecent images of children at a house in Chattan Avenue, Inverness between September and October, 2019.

Sentence was deferred until August 31 for a background report and Williams was placed on the sex offender's register. His bail was continued by Sheriff Margaret Neilson who warned Williams that jail was a possibility by saying: "All options are open to the court."

Defence solicitor advocate Shahid Latif told the sheriff he would reserve his comments until then but added for his client "it was a matter of relief to him that he was caught".

The court was told that a volunteer member of a paedophile hunter group posed as a 12-year-old girl called "Sophie" on social media and was communicating with Williams.

They became increasingly sexualised and he said he wanted to meet her, fiscal depute Susan Love said.

During this time, Williams was also sexually communicating with a woman posing as a 13-year-old called "Amber", asking her for intimate photographs, and sending her a video of himself.

After Williams was arrested, his mobile phone was examined and the obscene videos were found and evidence that they had been distributed.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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