One of Britain’s most prolific paedophiles challenges 32-year jail sentence
One of Britain’s most prolific paedophiles, who blackmailed a string of vulnerable victims, is to challenge his 32-year prison sentence.
Cambridge graduate Matthew Falder will have his case considered by three Court of Appeal judges in London on Tuesday.
He admitted 137 offences, including voyeurism, encouraging child rape, and sharing images showing the abuse of a newborn baby, after being caught by an international inquiry led by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Falder, of Harborne Park Road, Birmingham, committed his offences over nearly 10 years, manipulating victims “behind a computer screen” by duping them into providing nude images and personal details.
The 29-year-old was arrested in June last year after traumatised victims, who were tricked into sending him humiliating images, threatened or attempted to end their own lives.
Sentencing “warped and sadistic” Falder in February for “a tale of ever-increasing depravity”, Judge Philip Parker QC said: “As for your equally extraordinary sexual offending – no-one who knew you, above ground, had an inkling of what you were doing below the surface.”
Branding him an “internet highwayman” who targeted 46 victims, he added: “You wanted to assume total control over your victims.
“Your behaviour was cunning, persistent, manipulative and cruel.”
Of the victims, he said: “The damage is ongoing. For these individuals it will never end, knowing the abuse caused by you still exists in other unknown persons’ computers.”
The judge also concluded that Falder was a dangerous offender and gave him a six-year extended licence period.
The unprecedented operation to catch Falder, who used specialist software to hide his online accounts, was aided by GCHQ, the US Homeland Security Department and law enforcement bodies in Israel and Australia.
On his arrest, the former post-doctoral researcher and lecturer in geophysics at the University of Birmingham quipped to officers that the list of then suspected offences sounded “like the rap sheet from hell”.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that Falder coerced male and female victims into producing “increasingly severe self-generated indecent images of themselves, the focus of these images being to humiliate and degrade”.
Opening the facts of the case against Falder, prosecutor Ruona Iguyovwe told the court many images were distributed on so-called “hurtcore” websites on the dark web, showing material depicting sexual and physical abuse.
Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) National Crime Agency / PA Wire.