One of Britain’s most prolific paedophiles, who blackmailed a string of vulnerable victims including a girl who was ordered to eat dog food, has been jailed for 32 years.
University lecturer Dr Matthew Falder, of Harborne Park Road, Birmingham, 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).
The 29-year-old Cambridge graduate was arrested in June last year after four traumatised victims, who were tricked into sending him humiliating images, threatened or attempted to end their own lives.
Sentencing “warped and sadistic” Falder 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.”
For 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, who also concluded that Falder was a dangerous offender and gave him a six-year extended licence period, added: “These sentencing remarks underplay your relentless, obsessive desire to continue committing offences.”
The University of Cambridge, which said it had been “appalled” at the crimes, is now looking at stripping disgraced Falder of his academic qualifications, in a “rare” move for the 809-year-old institution.
A previous hearing was told 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”.
He duped victims, who were advertising for babysitting or dog-walking jobs on online message boards, into providing nude images by posing as a female artist who wanted to turn them into life drawings.
Falder forced one victim to film herself licking toilet seats and eating dog food.
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.
The unprecedented 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 and Australia.