A computer expert who had viewed indecent images of children on a work computer before moving to a new job could have caused his former colleagues to fall under suspicion.
Fortunately the police tracked Paul Faill down to his new employers, where he was arrested at work and a number of computers were then seized from his Rugby home.
Faill (43) of Railway Terrace, appeared at Warwick Crown Court after having pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children.
He was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to take part in a sex offender programme and to register as a sex offender for ten years.
Prosecutor Gary Cook said that in December 2016 the police went to a business’s premises after they had received intelligence that indecent images of children had been downloaded onto one of its computer.
The company’s computer system had been set up by Faill, but by the time of the police visit he had left and gone to work for a different company.
“That meant the people at the original company may have fallen under suspicion,” observed Mr Cook.
As it was, they quickly established who was responsible, and arrested Faill at his new workplace.
Officers then went to his home where they seized a large amount of computer equipment.
When he was first questioned Faill denied downloading any images of children, but when he was interviewed the following day he accepted he had been downloading them for a number of years, adding that he was sexually attracted to children.
A number of folders on the computers seized from his home could not be accessed because Faill said he could not remember the passwords for them.
But he accepted those folders may have contained images similar to those which were found by the police, which included 13 category A images - the most serious category.
Also found by the officers were seven category B images of children and 385 category C images of youngsters, added Mr Cook.
David Everett, defending, said there were not as many category A images as in many cases, and asked the judge to suspend any prison sentence.
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told Faill: “Between October 2010 and December 2016 you made a quantity of indecent photographs of children, pursuant to you desire to look at those.
“In December 2016 there was a visit to you place of work, and the concern is first that on your computer was some material.
“You had by then left that place of work, but others were there and were concerned ‘what happens to me?’ Fortunately nothing did, and you were arrested at your new place of work.
“At your home were a very large number of computers. You are a computer expert, and you have the expertise to hide material - and did so.
“Viewing, every day, is an offence. Those children, who may now not be children, have to work every day knowing those images may be out there on the internet.
“But you have shown remorse, and you have taken steps to address your behaviour and have yourself enrolled on a Lucy Faithful Foundation course.
“You have lost your family, and you have lost your job, but have got back to work.”
But the judge warned Faill: “If you breach this order you will not only come back before this court, you will come before me.”
He also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of all the computers seized, including those on which nothing was found because Faill could not recall the passwords.
An NSPCC spokesman said: “By scouring the internet for this distributing disturbing material, Faill has directly fuelled a market which seeks to ruin the lives of children and young people and could lead to more victims being abused.
“To help tackle the proliferation of online child abuse images, the NSPCC is calling on tech giants, government and law enforcement agencies to do more to prevent such content from being published in the first place and to try to remove this material as soon as possible when it is published on the internet.”
Anyone with concerns about a child can call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 while children can call Childline 24/7, free and confidentially on 0800 1111.