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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019

A British paedophile who blackmailed someone into raping a toddler has been jailed for 32 years

Matthew Falder used encrypted email addresses and was caught by an international taskforce.

Dr Matthew Falder was sentenced in Birmingham today.
Dr Matthew Falder was sentenced in Birmingham today.
Image: National Crime Agency

A CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY graduate who admitted 137 criminal offences involving online abuse, including encouraging the rape of a four-year-old boy, has been sentenced to 32 years in prison.

Matthew Falder (29) who dubbed himself “666devil” and “evilmind” online, blackmailed many of his 45 victims into sending “severe abuse images” of themselves, according to Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

The images were defined as “hurtcore” by prosecutors.

“Hurtcore does what it says on the tin really — its aim is to hurt the individual to their very core,” NCA investigator Matthew Long said.

Falder, whose victims ranged from young children to people in their 30s, would pose as a woman and get his victims to send naked images. He would then manipulate them into sending increasingly depraved abuse images.

Falder pleaded guilty to 137 separate charges at Birmingham Crown Court last year and was sentenced today.

Among the offences Falder admitted were blackmail, causing or inciting the sexual exploitation of a child, making indecent images of children, possession of a paedophile manual, requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour and voyeurism.

Judge Philip Parker described the 29-year-old as an “internet highwayman” who had a lust for controlling and tormenting victims.

At least three of  Falder’s victims attempted suicide as a result of his actions.

“It is a tale of ever-increasing depravity,” he said.

The effects on the girls, women and men were devastating. The damage is ongoing for these individuals. It will never end.

Falder, a geophysicist who was a postdoctoral researcher at Birmingham University in central England, admitted the charges at a court hearing in October, making him one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.

“In more than 30 years of law enforcement I have never come across an offender whose sole motivation was to inflict such profound anguish and pain,” NCA senior investigating officer Matt Sutton said at the time.

“I have also never known such an extremely complex investigation with an offender who was technologically savvy and able to stay hidden in the darkest recesses of the dark web,” he added.

Ruona Iguyovwe from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Matthew Falder is a highly manipulative individual who clearly enjoyed humiliating his many victims and the impact of his offending in this case has been significant.

He deliberately targeted young and vulnerable victims. At least three victims are known to have attempted suicide and some others have inflicted self-harm. There was a high degree of sophistication and significant planning by Falder due to his use of encryption software and technology in his electronic communication and the use of multiple fake online identities and encrypted email addresses.

Falder was caught after the NCA set up a taskforce involving Australian, US and Europol investigators with support from Britain’s online spying agency GCHQ.

Falder was sentenced to 32 years in custody with an extended licence period of six years.

© – AFP 2018 with reporting by Rónán Duffy

Read: Man guilty of 45 counts of child sexual assault remanded back into custody >

Read: Child porn: Gardaí seize ‘tens of thousands’ of images in 31 searches >

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