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Canary Wharf lawyer charged with possessing child porn ‘held sex parties at flat’, court hears

PUBLISHED: 16:51 12 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:51 12 December 2017

Tim Varchmin has been on trial at the Old Bailey

Tim Varchmin has been on trial at the Old Bailey

MPS

A high-flying lawyer led a “risky” lifestyle hosting Grindr “chem-sex” parties at his luxury apartment, a court has heard.

Tim Varchmin, 44, who worked at at Barclays in Canary Wharf, was allegedly caught with indecent images of children on his computer and mobile phone.

When officers raided his home in Lancaster Gate, west London, they also uncovered crystal meth on a glass coffee table next to a crack pipe, jurors were told.

Varchmin denied any of it was his, explaining he would invite men for “chem-sex” parties and give them free rein to do what they wanted, the Old Bailey heard.

Prosecutor Roger Daniells-Smith said: “His defence is he knew nothing at all about what was on the computer and he was not responsible for any of it. It was the work of other people.

“He went on to explain how that came about. What he told police was he was living a very risky lifestyle at the time.

“He is a single gay man and he was contacting people on the Grindr website, total strangers for the most part, to attend chem-sex parties, sex and drug parties.

“And when these strangers came to his flat - they would go on for days, all weekend - he would allow them free range of his flat.

“He allowed them access to his computer. They could do what they wanted and sometimes he would simply go out and leave them to it, is what he told the police.”

The prosecutor said Varchmin had a “dangerous lifestyle” but if he gave unsupervised and unhindered access to his computer, he had to “take responsibility” for it.

He added: “If you lie with dogs, you get fleas. If you allow people you do not know to come and use your equipment, you have to be responsible for that equipment.”

The defendant also denied the crystal meth was his, saying he used methadrone and had been under the influence during the parties, the court heard.

Mr Daniells-Smith said: “If it’s left on your dining room table, it’s yours.”

The material on Varchmin’s equipment came to light after Sky Broadband alerted the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection team to suspicious activity.

On the morning of Friday October 17 2014, officers searched Varchmin’s home addresses in Lancaster Gate and Edgware Road and his offices in Canary Wharf.

When officers went to the Lancaster Gate flat, they “pounded on the door” for five minutes and smashed it down when no-one answered, only to find Varchmin walking into the hallway.

They found 45,000 images and 106 movies on his iPhone and Apple computer, the vast majority of which were “adult porn”, jurors were told.

Many of the indecent images that formed the charges against Varchmin were duplicates, the court heard.

Mr Daniells-Smith alleged the defendant, who was born in Hamburg, had searched the internet for indecent images of children using German words.

Officers also uncovered 20 short stories about sexual activity between adults and children, “very sophisticated” cleaning software, and the Tor browser that gives access to the Dark Net.

Varchmin denies seven charges of possessing indecent images of children and possessing 830 milligrams of crystal meth.

The trial continues.

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