Search

Canary Wharf lawyer cleared of possessing indecent images of children

PUBLISHED: 15:42 18 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:42 18 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 Canary Wharf lawyer has been cleared of having indecent pictures after blaming a Grindr “chem-sex” party guest.

Tim Varchmin, 44, a former senior lawyer at Barclays, was accused of having more than 100 indecent images of children on his computer and mobile phone.

When officers raided his luxury flat 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 drug and sex parties through Grindr and give them free rein to do what they wanted

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, Mr Varchmin was found not guilty of seven charges of possessing indecent images of children and possessing 830 milligrams of crystal meth, a class A drug.

The defendant appeared overcome with emotion as the jury acquitted him after less than a day of deliberations.

The court heard how Sky Broadband had alerted the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection team to suspicious activity on the defendant’s computer.

On the morning of October 17 2014, police searched Mr Varchmin’s home addresses in Lancaster Gate and Edgware Road and his office 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.

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.

Of the indecent images of children that formed the charges, many were duplicates, the court heard.

Giving evidence, Mr Varchmin said he began hosting chem-sex parties with his former German boyfriend Jacob after receiving the “devastating” news that they had both contracted a drug-resistant strain of HIV.

He told jurors: “It is a life-changing event. It’s something you have to come to terms with. That bonded us together but at the time we were fighting over it. We developed a more aggressive sexual life.

“We had the feeling that now these stages of HIV were not a concern any more, we could have more sex with other men, unprotected sex as well. That was our idea.”

The defendant denied the crystal meth was his, saying it was Jacob who used it and he only took GHB.

But prosecutor Roger Daniells-Smith said Mr Varchmin had to “take responsibility” if he gave unsupervised and unhindered access to his computer.

He said: “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.”

He alleged the defendant, who was born in Hamburg, had searched the internet for indecent images of children using German words, but Mr Varchmin argued it could also have been his boyfriend.

Latest East London News Stories

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

07:00

Former arm-wrestling champ and Whitechapel stallholder Les Clayden is going back to his cockney ‘daisy roots’ to talk about ‘Swimming with Stingrays’.

Since the government’s austerity programme started in 2010, the council’s core funding from government has been cut in real terms by 64 per cent, which equates to £148m.

Yesterday, 18:21

Police have found the body of a missing student with links to east London.

Yesterday, 16:14

The mayor of Tower Hamlets has voluntarily had a blood test for Aids in a council campaign for public awareness for people to take part in HIV Testing Week starting tomorrow.

Yesterday, 13:48

Campaigners have called for support ahead of a national unity demonstration against racism and fascism.

Yesterday, 11:45

Police are appealing for help in finding a vulnerable man who has been missing for more than a week.

Thu, 19:00

Tower Hamlets Council is to overhaul the way it awards grants to community and voluntary organisations (VCS) in the borough.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now