A former British Transport Police control room worker is facing jail after he shared a photo of a dead 18-year-old RAF Cadet who had been hit by a train.
Joshua Tilt, 31, pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office after he took photos of a computer screen showing the body of Lewis Williams before sharing the image on WhatsApp with 14 others.
Tilt, from Birmingham, was granted unconditional bail at Birmingham Crown Court today but will face sentencing in December.
The former control room worker admitted the charge which alleged he willfully misconducted himself by taking a picture of a photo which he had access to and distributing it to other people with ‘no legitimate purpose for viewing or possessing it’.
Joshua Tilt, 31, (pictured) pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office after he took photos of a computer screen showing the body of Lewis Williams before sharing the image on WhatsApp with 14 others
Lewis Williams, an 18-year-old RAF Cadet, (pictured) described by family as ‘popular, funny and kind’, died in June 2022 after being hit by a train at Slough station
Lewis, who was described by his family as ‘popular, funny and kind’, was found dead on a railway line in Slough, Berkshire, on June 21 after he was hit by a train.
Lewis’ parents sat in court to hear Tilt’s guilty plea during a 15-minute hearing.
The teenager’s father Paul had previously told how the family were informed on July 2 that British Transport Police had launched an investigation into a member of the force’s staff.
Mr Williams, of Slough, said he was told someone had ‘gained access to the police aftermath scene photos, chosen a photo of his (Lewis’s) dismembered body and then shared the image in a WhatsApp chat group with 14 others’.
The bereaved father said he ‘immediately felt sick’ upon hearing that the photos had been shared.
Tilt is believed to have committed the offence between June 21 and July 1 of this year while on duty.
Michael Duck, defending, requested for the case to be adjourned in order for the probation service to find out more about Tilt. He said: ‘He is a man with significant professional background.
‘There will be provided to the court in due course a significant number of documents by way of reference, professional and personal. It is recognised the possible sentences which could be passed.
‘We submit it is an appropriate case, bearing in mind the lack of criminal background, for a pre-sentence report to be prepared, albeit one with all options available.’
Adjourning sentence on Tilt, Judge Paul Farrer KC told him: ‘You have pleaded guilty to what on any view is a serious offence involving gross misconduct in the course of your employment.
‘You have heard me indicate to your counsel that the likely sentence is one of imprisonment. Nonetheless, the court will benefit from having more information about you before ultimately deciding upon the nature and length of your sentence.
‘I enlarge your bail. In doing so I give you no guarantee whatsoever as to what the eventual sentence will be.’
Tilt, who left court without comment, will be sentenced on December 14.