A London court has cleared a former top lawyer of downloading indecent images of children.
Tim Varchmin, 44, stood trial at the Old Bailey after he had his phone and other devices seized by police following a raid at his Lancaster Gate home in October 2014.
Police received a tip-off from his internet provider and found over 100 indecent images and six films involving children on his devices along with 830 mg of crystal meth at his home, Gay Star News reports.
Varchmin, who was born in Germany, previously worked as a lawyer for Barclays, JP Morgan and other top companies.
He denied the charges held against him and revealed he had used the drug known as GHB but claimed the crystal meth found at his home was not his. He admitted to hosting chem-sex parties arranged via hook-up apps and said that he and his former boyfriend were both diagnosed with a drug-resistant strain of HIV.
Speaking to the court, Varchmin said: "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."
He claims he didn't download the images to his devices and suggests one of his chem-sex guests did it as he would allow them "free reign" to use his Macbook.
When asked why some of the search words relating to the indecent images were in German, Varchmin suggested his ex-boyfriend might have been to blame. Jurors also heard that images of the children were of Afro-Caribbean background.
When asked by his barrister if he found "people of that ethnicity attractive," Varchmin said: "I don't want to sound racist, it's just not my... my preference."
The Old Bailey court
The jury found him not guilty after three hours.
Speaking about the trial, Varchmin said: "I am grateful that having been so badly let down by those I once trusted, the trust I chose to place in the jury has been repaid.
"It is absolutely correct that the police act to protect children and minors from sexual abuse. It is absolutely right that those who perpetuate and view sexual abuse of children are prosecuted with vigor.
"But it is disproportionate to prosecute every case simply as a point of policy where the evidence against a single individual is so weak and where any number of people could have committed the crime."
He added: "My mistake was to react badly to my HIV diagnosis, to trust those who did not deserve to be trusted and to find solace from the shock of my illness in the self-destructive world of chem-sex."