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Blog - Dark web paedophile Matthew Falder jailed for 32 years

A “warped and sadistic” paedophile who blackmailed victims and shared abuse tips and images on the dark web has been jailed for 32 years.

Cambridge graduate Matthew Falder, 29, admitted 137 charges – including rape – against 46 people, some of whom were in court to see him jailed.

He coerced victims into acts including licking toilet seats and self-harming.

At Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Philip Parker QC labelled Falder an “internet highwayman” with a “lust to control”.

The former geophysics lecturer at the University of Birmingham will spend a further six years on licence when he is released from prison.
The court heard Falder, who lived in Edgbaston, had no previous convictions and excelled at school, where he was described as “one of the finest students with an international impact”.

How global taskforce caught ‘worst paedophile’

However, his offending lasted nearly 10 years and became “increasingly menacing”, Judge Parker said.

Victims described how they “will never get over” what happened to them.
The court heard Falder, who lived in Edgbaston, had no previous convictions and excelled at school, where he was described as “one of the finest students with an international impact”.

How global taskforce caught ‘worst paedophile’

However, his offending lasted nearly 10 years and became “increasingly menacing”, Judge Parker said.

Victims described how they “will never get over” what happened to them.
Phil Mackie, in court for BBC news

In 25 years as a reporter covering countless trials I have never heard evidence so sickening.

Matthew Falder never showed any emotion during the three-and-a-half days of sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court, but for the brave few victims who faced their tormentor during sentencing, it was hard to contain their tears.

Hardened investigators were also visibly upset as some of the evidence was read out. Those who suffered extreme abuse and degradation say they are still suffering the impact of what he made them do, but it’s hoped that the knowledge he’s behind bars will begin to ease their nightmares.

Four of Falder’s victims attempted suicide.

Falder duped victims on Gumtree, then immediately moved them away from the website’s servers and on to email.

This meant he could maintain anonymity to his victims, demanding increasingly depraved images.
‘Lick toilet seats’

Once he had compromising images of his victims, Falder told them to send him more material or he would share images with their friends and family.

He forced victims to lick toilet seats and eat dog food and then posted the images on “hurtcore” websites, described as hidden forums on the dark web dedicated to sharing images and videos of rape, torture, paedophilia and degradation.

Some of the posts Falder made to these websites included: “Glad you are all enjoying her suffering” and “I love blackmail, especially forcing someone met online to do things they don’t want to for amusement”.
In one post, he described what he had made his victims do: “I have had a few push pins into themselves, sometimes to attach signs, and had one victim stand on them in bare feet.”

The court heard how, because of the images he provided on dark web forums, he was given “VIP status” on the sites. A total of 484 images were found on Falder’s computer after his arrest.

He evaded capture for so long by using heavily encrypted email addresses, which he obtained through Russian email services.

Falder was eventually caught by an international global taskforce, involving security services from Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Israel.

The University of Cambridge said it was “actively pursuing” stripping Falder of his academic qualifications and could not say if that had ever happened before.

Prosecutor Ruona Iguyovwe, said: “These things are repulsive.
“The sentencing is a very strong reminder to people if they abuse children, no stone will be left unturned in finding them.”
A spokesman for Gumtree said they welcomed Falder’s conviction for the “appalling offences”, adding the site took “the safety of our users extremely seriously”.
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