August 2022

Higham Ferrers paedophile cries as he’s jailed over child abuse videos

A Higham Ferrers paedophile cried in court as he was jailed over his ‘thirst’ for images of child sexual abuse.

William James, formerly known as Stephen Umney, had clips of toddlers being sexually assaulted among thousands of horrific files.

The 39-year-old used Skype to share pictures and videos with other sick-minded individuals and even told one he was “running out of baby stuff”.

On Friday (August 12) a judge told the paedophile the ages of children he was interested in was chilling as he was jailed for two years and 10 months.

Northampton Crown Court heard police executed a warrant at his then home in 2020 and cautioned him.

James told officers: “I have seen some things but nothing that’s really bad.”

Devices seized included phones – one of which had a file cleaner, data shredder and encrypted messaging app installed – a USB stick and a computer.

The phones had more than 1,000 vile pictures and videos on them, including 382 ‘category A’ videos which depict the most depraved abuse.

They included a distressing video of what investigators estimated was a one-year-old boy being abused with acts which are too horrifying to print.

Prosecuting, Caroline Bray said: “When he said it was nothing that bad it was not true.”

On the USB stick and computer were a further 6,000-plus files including 1,636 category A images.

Sentencing, Recorder Stuart Sprawson told James: “There were many, many victims.”

Police also found a recording of a Skype call, where another man was watching footage of a baby being abused, and images which a teenage boy, who officers were able to identify, had been sending to various men online. There was no evidence that he had been communicating with James.

Search terms indicated James, who admitted all charges facing him, had been actively searching for images of very young children being abused.

One message he had sent to another paedophile read: “My range is mainly from todds (toddlers) to my own age lol.”

He told one he was “running out of baby stuff” and said: “See what I’ve got left to send lol.”

Officers also found a video he had secretly recorded in a public toilet cubicle

James, who appeared over a videolink from HMP Peterborough, cried and wiped tears from his face throughout the hearing.

The court heard he suffered with anxiety and depression and became curious in indecent images of children which developed into a ‘fixation’.

Recorder Sprawson told James there were concerns over the danger he posed to children.

He said: “Your thirst for indecent images of children and your conduct perpetuates, supports and prolongs a vile industry.”

James will serve half of his sentence of two years and 10 months in custody before being released on licence.

He will be subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and on the register for sex offenders for life.