May 2013



AN ex-fire boss who distributed indecent images of children and had an explicit online conversation with a convicted sex offender has been placed on three years’ supervision.

William Wyllie’s name came to the attention of police when the other man, prolific paedophile Steven King, was arrested as part of a Metropolitan Police investigation and his web communications checked.

Preston Crown Court heard Wyllie was employed as a locality manager in the fire service covering the South Cumbria area.

The 49-year-old, of Rating Lane, Barrow, pleaded guilty on the second day of a trial to five offences of distributing indecent images of children, plus one offence of publishing an obscene article. The court heard the images were distributed over a four-day period in July 2011.

His barrister, Mr Stephen McNally, said Wyllie had lost his good character, his name and would lose his employment. He had lost his standing in the community and it had impacted on his family.

He said: “The tragedy of it is this is a man approaching 50 years of age, who has spent the vast majority of his working life serving the public and quite literally in his case, saving lives.

“The tragedy is a man with so much positive to be said about him, who has worked so hard to serve his local community and his family should suffer such a spectacular fall from grace.”

Wyllie was given a three-year community order, which will involve three years’ supervision and a sex offender’s treatment programme. He will be on the sex offenders register for five years and subject to a sexual offences prevention order for the same period.

Judge Jacqueline Beech told him in passing sentence: “The fact you received indecent images and then distributed them and embarked in sexually explicit and obscene conversation about the abuse of a little boy indicates you knew exactly what you were doing.”

The judge agreed with the author of a pre-sentence report who had described Wyllie’s conduct as “manipulative, predatory and reckless”.

Cumbria County Council Fire and Rescue Service confirmed yesterday Wyllie had resigned from the service.

April 2013

Shamed fire chief was caught after swapping vile images with serial paedophile on internet

A PERVERT fire chief had his home raided after cops uncovered links to a serial paedophile.

William McMillan Wyllie led a bizarre double life swapping indecent images of children and cruising on gay dating websites, a court heard yesterday.

The 49-year-old Scot used an ex-colleague’s name and a combination of his fire service number and watch colour as part of his online identity.

And it was these which helped snare him when police chased up leads from his computer.

Wyllie, a manager at Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, had initially denied nine charges relating to distributing and encouraging the making of indecent images of children.

But he dramatically changed his plea to guilty after prosecutor Arthur Gibson laid out the evidence against him in his opening statement to Lancaster Crown Court.

Wyllie admitted six charges after the trial judge pointed out evidence linking him to the offences was overwhelming.

The 49-year-old was a fireman in Greenock before moving to Barrow in Cumbria to take up the senior post of services manager.

Yesterday the court heard his home was raided in October 2011 after investigations into HIV-positive London paedophile Steven King.

Wyllie had sent a number of messages and files to King, who was jailed for four years in 2011 for arranging to have sex with children as young as five.

Mr Gibson told the court how accounts used to send sickening child porn were traced back to Wyllie, who left the Strathclyde brigade in 2005.

The images were sent using accounts registered as Carlton Hall and CarltonHall112 with the user name Stuart Murdoch, the name of a former colleague of Wyllie’s – who the court were told is not implicated in the case.

Wyllie frequently visited police headquarters at Carlton Hall, in Penrith, as part of his duties.

Forensic IT experts traced a number of IP addresses used to access the accounts to Wyllie’s home phone number.

Mr Gibson told the court the password used by Wyllie on legal gay dating websites, as well as the password to access a laptop found at his home, was ‘Hfsc07red’.

He said the Hfs part of the password related to Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, though this was not fully explained. The code for Greenock was c07 and Wyllie was part of red watch there.

After the case was outlined, judge Jacqueline Beech said: “It may very well be that he should think, even at this late stage, about credit for a late guilty plea.

“It’s not often that I would say something like this at the beginning of a trial but when I see evidence of this type I have to say something.”

After the judge said a suspended jail term would be appropriate, Wyllie admitted sending indecent images to King and exchanging messages with the paedophile.

He will be sentenced on May 23.