A pervert who contacted a woman in the Philippines to ask her about prostituting her daughter has been jailed for a total of four-and-a-half years.
Richard McAdam had links with a criminal who had been making payments for sex shows in the far east involving children, some of which were streamed live via a webcam. As a result of a worldwide investigation, police executed a search warrant at McAdam’s then home on Lytham Road, Blackpool, and discovered he had accessed indecent images of children.
Preston Crown Court was told he had also been in contact with a man in the Bristol area, regarding the possible abuse of this girlfriend’s four-year-old daughter.
McAdam, 54, now of Caernarfon Close, Thornton, had earlier pleaded guilty to one charge of arranging or facilitating child prostitution, another of attempting to arrange the commission of a child sex offence, plus eight other offences of making indecent photographs of a child.
His offending came to light as a result of intelligence in two police operations - one in the West Midlands, while the other, called Operation Endeavour, was a worldwide inquiry into the live streaming of sexual abuse from the Philippines.
Jacob Dyer, prosecuting, said the investigation revealed a man called Timothy Ford was in contact with an organised crime gang in that country. He had been making payments for sex shows involving children and directing sexual activity using online chat. He recorded some of that over a live webcam.
Ford introduced others to the gang. He himself was given eight-and-half years jail, with six-and-a-half years extended licence, in March last year.
An association was found between him and McAdam via the internet, showing an interest in underage girls and discussions about sexually abusing children in the Philippines.
A warrant went on to be executed at McAdam’s Lytham Road, address on June 13 2012. he said he had received emails which he opened out of curiosity.
He told police: “I am not a paedophile. I opened them out of curiosity. You know I’m not like that. Computers and mobile phones were seized.
indecent images were found on a computer. A video showed the sexual abuse of a girl aged about seven. Another video was found on his mobile phone.
The prosecution said there was no connection between the images and children in the Philippines.
When interviewed he claimed his email account, which was password protected, had been hacked.
Officers recovered online chat between the defendant and Timothy Ford. The other man talked about a woman in the Philippines who had been prostituting her children.
Ford even told him: “Just look where the poverty is and you will find what you wan”.”
The defendant got contact details and got in touch himself with the woman via skype.
Mr Dyer said the defendant asked about the woman’s daughter and was told she was four-years-old.
“Perfect”, he said. “I like that age.” There was discussion about prices and he said he wanted “naked”. There was also talk of an arrangement for a girl aged 10 to be naked too.
Money was not sent because McAdam was concerned about Western Union asking too many questions.
The court also heard that on June 11, 2012, shortly before his arrest, McAdam had been in contact with a man on Skype, who said he was from Bristol.
The defendant said he was looking for young girls. the other man spoke of having a girlfriend that had a three-year-old daughter.
The defendant said “perfect,”. But he didn’t get to see her.
McAdam, in a pre-sentence report, said he was very sorry for what he had done, it was disgusting and he would not do it again.
Judge Simon Newell ordered that McAdam should remain on the sex offenders’ register, indefinitely.
‘Normal’ man who hid a dark perverted secret
Richard McAdam lived a seemingly normal life.
With a long-term partner, grown up children and a respectable job as an engineer, he would have looked to anyone like an upstanding member of society.
But beneath that veil of outward respectability, McAdam hid a dark and terrible secret.
For not only were police to discover a catalogue of vile sexual images of children on his computer, but as investigators dug ever deeper, they uncovered online links to a man involved in an horrific child sex ring based almost 7,000 miles away.
Determined to discover how deep his involvement was, high-tech crime unit investigators based at Lancashire Police’s HQ in Hutton eventually recovered conversations which took place over a website between a username used by McAdam and a man arrested and suspected of being the primary link between the UK and a child sex ring in the Philippines.
That man, Timothy Ford, from Kettering, Northamptonshire, would take money from other paedophiles and send it to a contact of his in the Philippines who would then use it to arrange acts of horrific abuse involving children in the country.
That would then be viewed online in the UK and elsewhere over video-based sites.
The paedophile ring was smashed by the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) as part of Operation Endeavour, an operation which spanned 14 countries and Ford was jailed for eight and a half years in March last year for his role in the case.
Victims aged between six and 15 were identified as part of the investigation.
And while there is no evidence that McAdam ever paid any money or ever viewed any such abuse, the discovery of the link with Ford alarmed detectives.
The truth about McAdam’s activities started to unfold as far back as 2012, when the Awaken team received a package of intelligence from CEOP in London. That pointed police to McAdam and suggested he may have had indecent images on his computer.
A catalogue of such images, some ranked at level four out of five in seriousness, was discovered. And it was while they were investigating that that the team received a second package from the CEOP, suggesting possible links to the Philippines case.
The subsequent investigation was complex and also saw officers working with police in Northamptonshire and the West Midlands to gather evidence.
What detectives eventually found was enough to charge him, but still McAdam maintained his innocence - up until the day his trial was due to begin in June, when he eventually admitted his crimes.
“He denied it,” said Det Con David Higham, from the Awaken team. “He said he had looked out of curiosity for his own particular reasons and he continually denied it and said it was bugs or an internet problem or someone had hacked his account.”
But police suspected he was lying, and when determined officers managed to recover conversations with the man from Northamptonshire the evidence grew.
“The evidence is overwhelming,” added DC Higham. “We knew he was lying.”
Asked how serious his crimes were, the detective added: “He is up there.
“I’m very pleased that he has been forced to plead guilty because of the overwhelming evidence and a lot of that is because of what was the hi-tech crime unit at Hutton.”