A judge in the United Kingdom has sentenced a scientist and university academic for 32 years over his evil double life as one of the country’s worst online pedophiles.
Geophysicist Matthew Falder,29, admitted 137 offenses against 46 victims, male and female, including blackmail, voyeurism, making offensive images of children and encouraging the rape of a child.
The prolific pedophile, who was arrested in 2015 following an international inquiry led by the National Crime Agency, was jailed on Monday by Judge Philip Parker who branded him an "internet highwayman," whose behavior was "cunning, persistent, manipulative and cruel."
“No one who knew you above ground had an inkling of what you were doing below the surface,” the judge told Dr. Falder.
Matt Sutton, senior investigating officer at the National Crime Agency, said after sentencing, “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 reveled in it.”
Falder blackmailed his victims into sending humiliating pictures of themselves performing immoral acts, before sharing them on abuse forums on the “dark web”. At least three traumatized victims attempted to commit suicide.
Falder, a former post-doctoral researcher in geophysics at the University of Birmingham, posed as a female artist to trap victims into sending him depraving images. He approached 300 people globally.
Scott Crabb, of the US Homeland Security Department's office in London, said that the punishment would at least offer "some closure" to the victims.
"I've just never seen anything like this, where someone is willing to go to these lengths to torment people," Crabb said.
The sentencing of the “warped and sadistic” voyeur is being described as an important achievement for authorities coming to grips with technology's ability to spread depravity.