PhD: Small Desks Cause \'hostile\' Environment For Fat Students

Footage shot inside Matthew Falder's flat in Birmingham shows his bedroom 

  • Clothes, food containers and socks are on the floor and toilet paper is on bed

  • Three victims tricked into sending him humiliating images tried to end their lives

  • Falder coerced victims into producing 'severe self-generated indecent images' 

  • Lecturer was interested in extreme subculture of paedophilia called 'hurtcore'

  • By Mark Duell for MailOnline

    Published: 07:11 EST, 19 February 2018 | Updated: 06:50 EST, 20 February 2018

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    Matthew Falder, 29, of Birmingham, admitted 137 offences relating to 46 complainants

    Matthew Falder, 29, of Birmingham, admitted 137 offences relating to 46 complainants

    A depraved paedophile who used online blackmail to target a string of vulnerable victims was sentenced to 32 years in jail yesterday as chilling images revealed his squalid lair.

    Footage shot inside Matthew Falder's flat in Birmingham shows clothes, food containers and socks over the floor - as well as a roll of toilet paper on his bed.

    His desk is piled with rubbish, golf balls, an iPhone docking station and what looks like a tub of dried up mushrooms.

    Other objects surrounding his computer include a pad of Post-it notes, multiple pairs of scissors, superglue, wine glasses, tissues, cloths and batteries.

    Cambridge graduate Falder, 29, whose victims included a girl who was ordered to eat dog food, preyed on more than 200 victims before sharing many of their abuse pictures on the dark web. He was arrested at Birmingham University in 2015 where he worked as a lecturer.

    Matthew Falder's  desk is piled with rubbish, golf balls and an iPhone docking station

    Matthew Falder's  desk is piled with rubbish, golf balls and an iPhone docking station

    In footage of his arrest on June 21, 2015, Falder is heard telling officers: 'So, what is it I am supposed to have done?'

    In footage of his arrest on June 21, 2015, Falder is heard telling officers: 'So, what is it I am supposed to have done?'

    What looks like a tub of dried up mushrooms can also been seen on the desk at his home

    What looks like a tub of dried up mushrooms can also been seen on the desk at his home

    Pictures taken inside the flat show clothes, food containers and socks over the floor

    Pictures taken inside the flat show clothes, food containers and socks over the floor

    A roll of toilet paper (top centre) can be seen on Falder's bed at his home in Birmingham

    A roll of toilet paper (top centre) can be seen on Falder's bed at his home in Birmingham

    Sentencing 'warped and sadistic' Falder for 'a tale of ever increasing depravity', Judge Philip Parker QC said at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday: '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.'

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    Branding him an 'internet highwayman', he added: 'You wanted to assume total control over your victims. Your behaviour was cunning, persistent, manipulative and cruel.'

    Three-year timeline of a disturbing case since Michael Falder's arrest

    April 2015: Manhunt is launched after Matthew Falder uses the username '666devil' to ask other dark web users for ideas on how to torture his 'daughter' during a 'hell week'

    June 2015: Falder is arrested after intelligence was gathered by NCA, US Homeland Security, Australian Federal Police and Europol

    October 2017: Falder admits 137 offences, including blackmail, voyeurism and encouraging the rape of a child, relating to 46 complainants, at Birmingham Crown Court

    Yesterday : Falder is jailed for a total of 38 years - including six years on licence

    For the victims, he said: 'The damage is on-going for these individuals. It will never end, knowing the abuse caused by you still exists in other unknown persons' computers.'

    The judge, who also concluded Falder was a dangerous offender, added: 'These sentencing remarks underplay your relentless, obsessive desire to continue committing offences.' 

    A manhunt was launched in April 2015 after he used the username '666devil' to ask other dark web users for ideas on how to torture his 'daughter' during a 'hell week'.

    The post sparked a nationwide hunt by the National Crime Agency to safeguard the girl, who turned out to be the daughter of another of Falder's victims.

    Investigators linked the user to the 'evilmind' and 'Inthegarden' accounts which Falder had used to torture his victims.

    Intelligence gathered by NCA, US Homeland Security, Australian Federal Police and Europol linked a person of interest to an address in Birmingham. 

    Falder, as seen in a court sketch Falder was arrested last June after three traumatised victims, who were tricked into sending him humiliating images, attempted to end their own lives

    Falder (as seen in a court sketch, left) was arrested last June after three traumatised victims, who were tricked into sending him humiliating images, attempted to end their own lives

    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'

    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'

    In footage of his arrest on June 21, 2015, Falder is heard telling officers: 'So, what is it I am supposed to have done?'

    Victim 'scared of meeting new people' by Michael Falder ordeal

    One victim who was blackmailed into eating dog food by Michael Falder has said she is 'scared of meeting new people' following her ordeal.

    The young woman said she was 'sucked in' and tormented by Falder, who forced her into taking photos of herself performing degrading physical acts or risk very real public humiliation.

    She charted how Falder bombarded her with messages 'every day', saying: 'I'll always be scared of meeting new people.'

    She lived in constant fear that he would send compromising images to her friends and family, unless she followed his instructions.

    The woman, who is anonymous to protect her identity, is now slowly starting again after Falder effectively destroyed 'all relationships' in her old life, with his total abuse of her trust.

    She was first approached by Falder on Gumtree after posting an advertisement as a babysitter to earn money, while studying for exams.

    Falder posed as a depressed female artist called 'Liz', then duped her into sending nude images which he would use as 'tasteful' illustrations.

    But as soon as she sent images, Falder's manner changed from 'nice' to 'threatening' as he sprang a trap on the then schoolgirl, which he came to repeat on his other hapless victims - many of them teenagers.

    In the space of two months, he had blackmailed the girl over the internet into sending pictures of herself licking toilet seats, a loo brush, and a used tampon.

    Speaking anonymously, the girl, who first physically met Falder when he appeared in the dock of Birmingham Crown Court for his crimes, said: 'It was messages every day, so it felt like forever.'

    She added: 'Every day when I woke up, there would be a message. When I came home from school, there would be a message.'

    She said: 'When I wasn't actually talking to him, I was worried about when the next message was going to come through.'

    At school she could not concentrate and was 'scared' to go out or risk meeting her tormentor, more still 'ashamed' for what she was being forced to do.

    She added: 'I didn't tell anyone. I was ashamed, and obviously you've heard what the pictures were like, they were awful and I didn't want any of my friends to think that I wanted to do that.'

    She said: 'But I felt like no-one would understand because there was no-one there holding a knife to me saying 'You will do this', even though it felt like that.'

    The ordeal has 'massively' affected Falder's victim, who stood in court to confront her tormentor and testify to the effect of his vile handiwork.

    His actions have led directly to the total breakdown of the relationship with her family and friends. The woman said: 'I don't talk to my family anymore, at all.'

    'I guess for me I felt like they wouldn't understand and didn't understand what had happened to me', she said, adding that the fact it happened 'online' meant 'people find it harder to understand'.

    'All relationships broke down,' she said. 'It's hard to have a family and a partner and friends when you don't trust them.

    'Eventually they get upset that you don't trust them and they just leave.'

    She is now making new friends but said 'I'll always be scared of meeting new people.' She added: 'I'm really careful now with what I say.'

    The woman urged other teenagers using the internet to be careful what they say to the strangers they meet online, adding 'it's a dangerous place to be'.

    Looking to the future, she said: 'I hope one day I can rationalise the fact that not everyone wants to hurt me.' 

    She added: 'It'll always be there in the back of my mind, that not everyone is trustworthy.'

    The geophysicist - wearing a yellow T-shirt - then tells officers the list of offences he is charged with sounds 'like the rap sheet from hell'. 

    In the 1.12-minute footage supplied by the NCA, Falder repeatedly responds 'no comment' when quizzed on his crimes.

    He eventually provided two prepared statements - in one, admitting that he controlled the 'evilmind' account.

    Further surveillance shows the ex-Birmingham University post-doctorate researcher secretly setting up 'Peeping Tom' cameras in bathrooms and shower cubicles.

    Although a handful of UK-based victims reported him, he was able to avoid detection by using more than 70 different online identities.

    Falder also used the 'Tor network' which helps users hide their identities by encrypting connections and bouncing it around global volunteers to make it much harder for the authorities to trace.

    He would regularly post on 'Hurt 2 The Core', which is considered to be the world's worst website and is dedicated to: 'Both the child love and hurtcore aspects of pedophilia.'

    An extract on the site reads: 'If you do not agree with that, or are easily offended, then this is not the place for you, welcome to H2TC.'

    He also shared an instructional video on how to sexually abuse children as well as guidance on how to give youngsters sweets which were soaked in urine or semen.

    In further posts, he wrote about arranging to meet a blackmail victim for sex in a remote location and told how he would make the person tie themselves to a tree, lock the bindings and throw away the key to ensure a slow and painful death.

    Falder also suggested a sick game in which a curling iron would be inserted into a woman's vagina and could only be turned off if they answered a question correctly.

    He also posted a video of a man repeatedly throwing a young child who couldn't swim into a pool, with the child submerged for several seconds each time and a three minute long video of a woman kicking and then beating a four-year-old boy with a stick.  

    Falder has admitted 137 offences, including blackmail, voyeurism and encouraging the rape of a child, relating to 46 complainants after being caught by an international inquiry led by the National Crime Agency.

    The 29-year-old was arrested in June last year after three traumatised victims, who were tricked into sending him humiliating images, attempted to end their own lives.

    Yesterday at his sentencing, Judge Parker also told him: 'Matthew Falder, you are 29 years old and prior to this you had no previous conviction.

    'You were brought up by a loving family in Cheshire, excelled at school, went up to Cambridge (University), graduated and emerged with a Master's and a PhD.

    'One of your tutors said you were one of the finest students he'd ever supervised and your work had an international impact.

    'Therefore you are extremely talented and had a close group of friends, were the life and soul of the party, and had a dynamic social magnetism.

    'You became a lecturer at university in Birmingham - where you were arrested on September 21 2017.'

    A previous hearing was told 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'.

    Falder forced one victim to film herself licking toilet seats, a used tampon and eating dog food, and set up secret cameras in bathrooms to record women and girls naked.

    Another was blackmailed into eating his faeces and drinking urine, while the 29-year-old also encouraged the rape of a boy, aged two, by his own father.

    He also set up hidden cameras in publicly accessible toilets and at his parents' home, catching his unsuspecting victims on film, and using the footage to blackmail - and trade with others online. 

    Other objects surrounding his desktop computer include a pad of Post-It notes and scissors

    Other objects surrounding his desktop computer include a pad of Post-It notes and scissors

    Superglue, wine glasses, tissues, cloths and batteries can also be seen on Falder's desk

    Superglue, wine glasses, tissues, cloths and batteries can also be seen on Falder's desk

    The Cambridge graduate who lives in Birmingham preyed on more than 200 victims

    The Cambridge graduate who lives in Birmingham preyed on more than 200 victims

    The National Crime Agency launched a manhunt after Falder used the username '666devil' to ask fellow dark web users for ideas on how to torture his 'daughter' as part of a 'hell week'

    The National Crime Agency launched a manhunt after Falder used the username '666devil' to ask fellow dark web users for ideas on how to torture his 'daughter' as part of a 'hell week'

    Opening the facts of the case against Falder, prosecutor Ruona Iguyovwe previously told the court that many of the images were then distributed on so-called 'hurtcore' websites on the dark web, showing material depicting sexual and physical abuse.

    Michael Falder's 'rap sheet from hell' featuring 137 charges

    Upon his arrest, Michael Falder himself described the catalogue of offences he faced as the 'rap sheet from hell'.

    The case is thought to be among those with the highest number of charges brought against a single defendant, with Falder admitting 137 offences and a further 51 lying on file under a plea agreement.

    Here is the full list of the ones he pleaded guilty to:

    • Arranging or facilitating the sexual exploitation of a child x one
    • Blackmail x 12
    • Blackmail, conspiracy to x 4
    • Blackmail, encouraging or assisting an offence of blackmail, believing it will be committed x two
    • Causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity x three
    • Causing or inciting the sexual exploitation of a child x 20
    • Distribute indecent images of a child, conspiracy to x two
    • Distributing indecent images of children x 12
    • Encouraging or assisting the commission of offences of taking, making or distributing indecent images x six
    • Forced or compulsory labour x one
    • Fraud by representation x 23
    • Intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence of blackmail x one
    • Intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence of child exploitation x one
    • Intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence of rape x three
    • Intentionally encouraging or assisting of offence of sexual activity with a child family member x one
    • Make indecent images of child, conspiracy to x two
    • Making indecent images of children x seven
    • Malicious communication x five
    • Participating in the activities of an organised crime group x three
    • Possession of a paedophile manual x two
    • Possession of extreme pornography x one
    • Possession of indecent images of children x one
    • Possession of indecent images with a view to their distribution x two
    • Publishing an advertisement about distribution of indecent images x one
    • Publishing an obscene article x three
    • Sending an electronic communication with intent to cause distress or anxiety x five
    • Sending electronic communication with intent to cause distress, conspiracy to x three
    • Voyeurism recording a private act x 10

    Falder, who treated victims both as sex objects and as objects of derision, posted on one forum '100 things we want to see at least once'.

    In remarks in that post, he suggested 'a young girl being used as a dartboard', production of a video depicting a child's bones being 'slowly and deliberately broken', and the abuse of 'a paralysed child'.

    It also emerged during the earlier hearing that Falder initially duped victims into providing images by posing as a female artist who wanted to turn them into life drawings.

    Prosecutors said Falder was also a member of several 'virtual communities' of abusers, and in one such forum on the so-called dark web, he had a 'membership rank level of 'Rapist''.

    One of his victims, speaking anonymously after his sentencing, described how his abuse had led to the breakdown of 'all relationships' in her life, and how she was now 'scared to meet people'.

    The operation to catch Falder, who used specialist software to hide his online accounts, was aided by GCHQ, the United States Homeland Security Department and law enforcement bodies in Israel, Slovenia, Australia and New Zealand.

    Falder, of Birmingham, committed the offences over an eight-year period and never physically met any of his victims, but instead manipulated them from afar by duping them into providing nude images and personal details.

    On his arrest, the former post-doctoral researcher in geophysics at the University of Birmingham told officers 'what is it I've done', before correcting himself and adding 'supposed to have done'.

    He then quipped that the list of suspected offences sounded 'like the rap sheet from hell'.

    The operation to catch Falder, who used specialist software to hide his online accounts, was aided by GCHQ, the United States Homeland Security department and law enforcement bodies in Israel, Slovenia, Australia and New Zealand.

    He is a former post-doctoral researcher in geophysics at the University of Birmingham.

    Senior investigating officer for the NCA Matt Sutton said: 'He was not about money, his currency was his kudos in the community and he traded in these types of images.

    'He approached over 200 people, people posting that they needed babysitting work or dog walking, that they needed money or needed a home.

    'He was approaching people in Britain, the US, Canada, Australia and Slovenia. 

    'He used Tor, anonymising the use of his internet and used over 22 email accounts including Safemail, based in Israel and Yandex, based in Russia.  

    Although a handful of UK-based victims reported Falder, he was able to avoid detection by using more than 70 different online identities

    Although a handful of UK-based victims reported Falder, he was able to avoid detection by using more than 70 different online identities

    He shared an instructional video on how to sexually abuse children as well as guidance on how to give youngsters sweets which were soaked in urine or semen

    He shared an instructional video on how to sexually abuse children as well as guidance on how to give youngsters sweets which were soaked in urine or semen

    He had approximately 70 different online identities.

    Conviction of 'hurtcore' paedophile Michael Falder is a watershed moment, say NCA

    The first successful conviction of a 'hurtcore' paedophile has been described as a 'watershed' moment for British police as they respond to new technologies that give criminals opportunities to increase the scale and depravity of child abuse. 

    Michael Falder used his 'evilmind' and '666devil' accounts on encrypted dark web forums to coerce, control and ultimately devastate his victims.

    And he is not alone, investigators at the National Crime Agency (NCA) warned. 

    Will Kerr, NCA director of vulnerabilities, said police are increasingly concerned about what he described as 'horrific' crimes, which are often done for profit and linked to organised gangs, and which required 'unprecedented' levels of resources to stop.

    The NCA, working with UK police forces, Government listening post GCHQ, US Homeland Security, the Australian Federal Police and Europol, needed up to 100 investigators to find, track and detain Falder, who had managed to evade detection for nearly four years.

    Mr Kerr said: 'It's a bit of a watershed moment this investigation for policing for two principal reasons, one it highlights a previously unknown level of very horrific offending - there were over 300 contact reports from Matthew Falder alone.

    'Secondly, it also highlights the unprecedented level of resources that law enforcement has to put into these investigations - at one point there were 100 investigators working on this case using the broadest range of new covert capabilities to try and identify and catch him and his other offenders who were engaged in similar activity.

    'Falder is not alone - there are many other users of some of these dark web sites and we are very concerned about it.'

    It comes amid a backdrop of constant police action against paedophiles and a change in social norms that has seen young people spend more and more time online.

    A UK-wide sting operation in October saw 192 suspects arrested and 245 children saved from harm, while Mr Kerr said police are arresting 400 people and safeguarding 500 children on a routine basis every month.

    But two elements have come to characterise child sex exploitation and abuse (CSEA) online in the last few years, Mr Kerr said - the abundance of indecent images of children online and the new type of 'higher harm' offences including live streaming and dark web-enabled blackmail.

    'Since the NCA was created in 2013 we have seen a 700 per cent increase in the number of referrals for indecent images of children and young people coming to us as the national agency,' he said.

    '(There was) a 44 per cent increase this year alone so the proliferation of images online has been a significant challenge for law enforcement over the last number of years.

    'But that proliferation of images has led to a very significant increase in law enforcement and policing response across the UK to respond to it.

    'The Child Abuse Image Database launched a few years ago but now has eight-and-a-half million images on it.' 

    'Falder's use of anonymising techniques made him very difficult to catch, this highlights previously unknown and very horrific offending. 

    'Falder is not alone, there are many other users on these dark web sites.

    'Anecdotal sources appear to suggest that the hurt core community is a hated minority within an already hated group - described as 'the worst of the worst'.

    'Falder's victim targeting showed a level of directed activity, organisation and advanced manipulation.

    'As well as blackmailing and extorting victims, he also enjoyed simply engaging them in conversation in which he can hear about the suffering of another, or otherwise push boundaries, so long as the activity or material involved victim suffering.

    'His primary motivation was for power and control, suffering and humiliation.

    'Believing he had superior intellectual and computational abilities, he was confident that he could outwit law enforcement.

    'There is little doubt that Falder would have continued his offending and caused untold pain and distress to many other vulnerable people.

    'This was a man who was using the widest range of techniques to hide his identity. It's very difficult to understand a crime where the motive does not include sex, passion, money, revenge or hate.

    'When the sole motivation of an individual is purely to cause pain to another, that's quite hard to grasp. Most crimes you can see the motive, you can see where it comes from.

    'In this individual the sole motivation was to inflict pain on another and the journey to that.'

    Matthew Long, NCA operations strategic lead, said: 'Dr Matthew Falder thought he wouldn't be caught and I think he actually was probably the type of individual that would be telling people he wouldn't be caught on the anonymous servers and then living a completely different life in his day-to-day life.

    'Ultimately that wasn't the case. Ultimately we, with our international partners, caught him and with the help of the victims we have put him in prison.

    'For us this has been a relentless pursuit to catch Dr Matthew Falder, but what saddened me is his relentless pursuit of the victims.

    'He would stop at nothing to exploit them, to make them feel sad, humiliated or unhappy and he didn't really care in any way, shape or form how that manifested.

    'Ultimately that has devastated some people's lives and I am very proud of our team and also those victims being able to stand up and stop him.

    'Matthew Falder is part of a very small group of people that took it to an extreme where it was about absolute exploitation, about absolute pain and really the degradation of humans within society.

    'Anonymous networks, by their very definition and nature, are really, really tricky. What you have effectively got is a place where people can go, they can hide and they can't be found.

    'That means you have got to be innovative, you've got to use new and different tactics and ultimately got to think around a really difficult problem.

    A GCHQ spokesman said: 'This is a horrific case and our hearts go out to the victims. 

    Falder, who treated victims both as sex objects and as objects of derision, posted on one forum '100 things we want to see at least once'

    Falder, who treated victims both as sex objects and as objects of derision, posted on one forum '100 things we want to see at least once'

    'GCHQ is determined to use our expertise in both cyber security and digital communications to counter this type of terrible online child sexual abuse.

    'Protecting the digital homeland - in this case keeping children safe online - is a crucial part of our mission. 

    Judge's horror at paedophile Michael Falder who 'revelled' in his sick abuse

    Judge Philip Parker QC said yesterday: 'Matthew Falder, you are 29 years old and prior to this you had no previous conviction.

    'You were brought up by a loving family in Cheshire, excelled at school, went up to Cambridge (University), graduated and emerged with a Master's and a PhD.

    'One of your tutors said you were one of the finest students he'd ever supervised and your work had an international impact.

    'Therefore you are extremely talented and had a close group of friends, were the life and soul of the party, and had a dynamic social magnetism.

    'You became a lecturer at university in Birmingham - where you were arrested on September 21 2017.

    '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.'

    'You wanted to assume total control over your victims. Your behaviour was cunning, persistant, manipulative and cruel.'

    'The damage is on-going for these individuals (the victims). It will never end, knowing the abuse caused by you still exists in other unknown persons' computers.'

    'These sentencing remarks underplay your relentless, obsessive desire to continue committing offences.'

    'We will continue to work in partnership with NCA and law enforcement to make the internet a hostile environment for these types of offenders to operate.'

    Speaking after the sentencing, Mr Sutton added: 'In more than 30 years of law enforcement I've never come across an offender whose sole motivation was to inflict such profound anguish and pain. Matthew Falder revelled in it.

    'I've 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. This investigation represents a watershed moment.

    'Falder is not alone so we will continue to develop and deliver our capabilities nationally for the whole law enforcement system to stop offenders like him from wrecking innocent lives.

    'I commend the victims for their bravery and I urge anyone who is being abused online to report it. There is help available.'

    Victoria Atkins, the minister for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability, said: 'Matthew Falder's crimes were truly sickening. I cannot begin to imagine the pain and suffering he inflicted on his victims, and I welcome today's sentence.

    'Falder's use of the dark web to try to conceal his horrific abuse is a stark reminder of the scale of the challenge we face in tackling online child sexual exploitation. 

    'I am humbled by the bravery of victims who came forward to tell their stories, and I applaud the collaborative work of the National Crime Agency and GCHQ in bringing him to justice.

    'This Government will continue to support this outstanding work and the efforts of law enforcement to identify and protect victims and pursue these despicable predators. 

    Falder is a former post-doctoral researcher in geophysics at the University of Birmingham Falde committed the offences over an eight-year period

    Falder is a former post-doctoral researcher in geophysics at the University of Birmingham

    'We have committed £20million over three years to support the identification of people like Matthew Falder, who are using the internet to groom children, and to bring them to justice. We have also nearly doubled the NCA's investigative capability through investment of £30m additional funding in this spending review period.'

    Cambridge could strip paedophile Matthew Falder of qualifications

    The University of Cambridge said it was actively 'pursuing' stripping Falder of his academic qualifications, in what would be a 'rare' under-taking for the 809-year-old institution.

    In a statement, a spokesman for the university said: 'These crimes have appalled and distressed the Cambridge community.

    'Our thoughts today are with those who have shown such immense bravery in coming forward to give evidence.

    'Falder's skill at covering his tracks online as his offending escalated in depravity and scale was such that the National Crime Agency's investigation took two years to uncover the full extent of his crimes.

    'The University would like to thank the police for their thorough investigation into this matter.

    'We continue to offer support to those affected by this.'

    An NSPCC spokesman said: 'Falder is a despicable predator who targeted vulnerable victims and encouraged the most appalling abuse of young children. Behind every child abuse image or video is a victim who has endured unimaginable pain and suffering – as this disturbing case demonstrates.

    'Abusers like Falder often use blackmail and threats to make victims feel they have nowhere to turn.  But we would urge anyone in this situation to contact police or the NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000, where trained counsellors are available 24/7.'

    Barnardo's chief executive Javed Khan added: 'This sentence sends a message to paedophiles that they will pay for their crimes while, hopefully giving other child abuse victims the confidence to come forward and seek justice.

    'This shocking case highlights how this prolific paedophile was able to persuade a 14 year old boy to rape another child without physically being present, showing how the internet can facilitate child sexual abuse.

    'Barnardo's wants to encourage parents to talk to their children about the potential dangers online and know what new apps they're using and which websites they're visiting, so they can help keep them safe.

    'Barnardo's also wants tech companies to sign up to an online code of practice to protect children, incorporate safety features when designing products and take action as soon as abuse becomes flagged.

    'Children and young people need to know how to report abuse through age appropriate relationships and sex education.'

    A Gumtree spokesman told MailOnline: 'We welcome the conviction of Matthew Falder for his appalling offences. Our dedicated safety team has been working with the NCA in its investigation of this case for several years. 

    'We take the safety of our users extremely seriously and are committed to making the site as safe as possible. We list prominent safety advice on every ad on our website, a summary of which can be found on our dedicated Safety Advice Page.'

     

    How depraved Falder led a 'double life' as an academic researcher by day and a depraved abuser and blackmailer of children by night

    Dr Matthew Falder led a 'double life' as an academic researcher by day and a depraved abuser and blackmailer of children by night, prosecutors said.

    The Cambridge University graduate evaded police detection for more than three years through the use of anonymised emails and encrypted internet forums before he was identified in March 2017 and arrested several months later in June.

    Described as 'IT savvy', Falder, 29, would prey on victims by responding to classified ads, often asking for work as dog-walkers or babysitters, on websites such as Gumtree.

    Surveillance footage is pictured of Falder, who was yesterday jailed for 32 years, on a train

    Surveillance footage is pictured of Falder, who was yesterday jailed for 32 years, on a train

    Posing as a woman who could not have children and who would draw to combat depression, he would ask them to contact him with their personal email address and proposition them to send naked or partially-clothed images of themselves in return for cash, offering up to £800 for the most explicit pictures.

    Once snared in his trap, the victims were coerced into giving away personal and intimate details about themselves, including their sexual history, and Falder threatened to send the pictures to their families and distribute them on the internet if they did not co-operate with his 'increasingly severe' demands.

    Those demands, which included carrying out degrading acts such as eating dog food or holding signs that read 'I am a sex slave', would indulge his interest in an extreme subculture of paedophilia known as 'hurtcore' - a community described as 'the worst of the worst', according to senior investigating officer Matt Sutton.

    The geophysicist would then use the images to try to reach VIP status among the community on a now-defunct website called Hurt 2 The Core, which was among a host of encrypted sites on the so-called 'dark web'.

    Falder is one of Britain's most prolific paedophiles Falder was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court

    Falder is one of Britain's most prolific paedophiles and was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court

    Falder's account on the website, using the name 'inthegarden', revealed he had a preference for victims aged from birth to 18, both male and female, and he used it to ask for tips on how to abuse people.

    Under different aliases, particularly 'evilmind' and '666devil', he posted in forums claiming to have a daughter and requested ideas for ways to torture her in what he called 'hell week'.

    When British police were alerted to the 'inthegarden' account following the FBI's takedown of the Hurt 2 The Core network, the National Crime Agency, the UK's equivalent of the US federal agency, found little to go on as they sought to identify the person behind the moniker.

    Mr Sutton said: 'I had no scene, the internet is a virtual scene. I had no forensics whatsoever, nothing, no trace whatsoever and no witnesses and over 200 potential victims.

    'I basically had a needle in a haystack - there are 32 million UK males over the age of 18 so I had to reduce that down to one.'

    Falder suggested a sick game in which a curling iron would be inserted into a woman's vagina and could only be turned off if they answered a question correctly

    Falder suggested a sick game in which a curling iron would be inserted into a woman's vagina and could only be turned off if they answered a question correctly

    Tracking him down was made harder as Falder used around 70 online identities to contact around 200 people across the country from Cornwall to north-east Scotland and Mid Wales to Northern Ireland, as well as in the US and Canada, and was careful not to leave tracks on the open web, particularly social media.

    And there was no money trail for investigators to follow, as Mr Sutton said: 'He was not about money, his currency was his kudos in the community, his standing in this world, and he traded in these type of images and this type of control.'

    Ruona Iguyovwe, senior prosecutor with the international justice and organised crime division of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: 'He was very IT savvy and he was very surveillance-aware.

    'He made no telephone contacts with any victims, he made very careful use of social media - he was very distrustful of it even though he would conduct extensive research of his victims.

    'He advised other users of the websites he used, the global child sex rings, not to use social media because he was worried he would leave behind footprints that would mean he would be detectable to law enforcement.'

    Falder was said to have been 'not about money; his currency was his kudos in the community' Falder has been sentenced today

    Falder was said to have been 'not about money; his currency was his kudos in the community'

    Once discovered, Falder was found to have two devices with large amounts of indecent images, including a video showing the rape of a newborn baby, and a 'paedophile manual' instructing other paedophiles how to carry out child sex abuse and not be detected by police.

    Upon his arrest, he feigned ignorance and, when told of some of the 188 offences he was accused of, said: 'That's the rap sheet from hell.'

    Away from his computer, Falder appeared to come from a 'normal' family background, which Mr Sutton said showed 'nothing that acted as a precursor or diagnostic indicator' to his crimes.

    He was in a relationship and was living in Birmingham as he embarked on his career as a post-doctoral university researcher.

    Ms Iguyovwe said: 'I hope we can send a message out to other young people who might be being targeted to be aware of individuals like Mr Falder, who lived a double life.

    'During the day he's a lecturer in geophysics at Birmingham University, while at night online on his computer in the privacy of his iPad or his encrypted email address, he was 'evilmind' or '666devil'.'

    How victims of 'hurtcore' doctor Michael Falder were so traumatised that several attempted suicide

    The victims of 'evilmind' Dr Matthew Falder suffered the real-world consequences of his online actions, with several attempting to take their own lives to escape the nightmare he had drawn them into.

    His convictions for 'hurtcore' sex offences, the first secured by the National Crime Agency (NCA), mark a dark turn in abuse as investigators warn that the perpetrators are being enabled by encryption software which can help them avoid detection.

    Described as the 'worst of the worst', hurtcore is a subculture of paedophilia shunned even by other abusers, the NCA said.

    'Hurtcore does what it says on the tin really - it's aim is to hurt the individual to their very core,' NCA investigator Matthew Long said.

    'So it's about the absolute disruption, devastation and ripping apart of the human condition and if you've got an end of unpleasantness it's right at the far end for me.'

    Victims would be blackmailed into sending increasingly graphic or degrading images of themselves, including eating dog food or holding signs reading 'I am a sex slave', all so Falder could earn 'kudos' among the other online members of hurtcore websites and achieve VIP status, giving him greater levels of access.

    But while he hid behind a mask of dark-web anonymity as 'evilmind' or '666devil', his victims were left devastated.

    Ruona Iguyovwe, senior prosecutor with international justice and organised crime division of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: 'He showed himself to be very calculating, he was highly manipulative. He had no shred of sympathy for any victim.

    'Three of the victims in this case attempted suicide, at least three that we know of. And in one case that person attempted suicide twice.

    'But when speaking to him and victims raised the possibility that they were contemplating taking their own life because of the actions he directed towards them, he showed no ounce of sympathy.

    'His reaction would usually be to reinforce his demands.'

    Falder showed his lack of basic humanity by threatening to expose his victim even if they had taken their own life, Ms Iguyovwe said.

    She said: 'In one case, one victim said 'I'm thinking of ending it all so that this can stop' and he said to that victim 'Well, you might end it all but that would not mean that your images don't get circulated, your images will still be circulated to your family, and it will still be published online so what good is that going to be to you? You have no choice'.

    ''Your choice is either complete destruction or being a slave'. And so he was very, very cold. He absolutely showed no respect, no regard. He wrecked their lives.'

    For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123, visit a local Samaritans branch, or click> here for details.  

    Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5407931/Depraved-paedophile-used-blackmail-target-victims.html

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