Invited by the University of Birmingham Conservatives, controversial backbench MP Jacob Rees-Mogg visited campus on Friday 9th March, speaking about his views on free speech, housing, mental health, Russia and tuition fees to a packed lecture theatre of around 300 students.Written by Erin Santillo & John Wimperis on 16th March 2018
UoB Paedophile Jailed for 32 Years
Matthew Falder, a 29-year old former geophysics researcher based at the University of Birmingham (UoB), has been sentenced to 32 years in prison by the Birmingham Crown Court.
Operating on the dark web, the Cambridge graduate manipulated 46 victims into performing humiliating acts to trade images sent to him by the victims on so-called ‘hurtcore’ websites on which Falder had multiple accounts.
He was arrested on campus in June 2017 after four years of FBI and police investigations, becoming the first person in the UK to be convicted for ‘hurtcore’ paedophilia offences.
Falder claimed that he favoured victims were aged up to 18 on a (now closed-down) dark web site, Hurt 2 The Core. The ‘hurtcore’ sites used by Falder aim to humiliate underage victims, thus ‘hurting them to their very core’.
His offences included hiding cameras in public toilets and family bathrooms and coercing victims to send him indecent images which he would then use to blackmail them to force them to send more explicit, degrading material.
One victim, Beatrice Mayhew, told the Daily Mail that Falder had targeted her advert on Gumtree offering her services as a babysitter. Using the alias name Liz, Falder offered Mayhew (then 15) £800 to send images of her to be used for life art drawings to - as Falder claimed - help deal with Liz’s depression.
When Mayhew did so, he threatened to show her images to her family and friends unless she followed his predatory demands. Mayhew was forced to send photos of her licking a toilet seat and eating dog food naked on the floor, because she felt she ‘had no other option’ but to obey Liz’s demands.
He had approximately 70 online identities which he used to contact his victims (four of whom attempted suicide) some of which were under disturbing usernames such as ‘evilmind’ and ‘666devil’. He built a reputation on the dark web for his sickening behaviour to gain ‘VIP status’, with one site giving him the membership status of ‘rapist’. He also encouraged the rape of a two-year old child by his own father in a decade of committing such offences.
Scott Crabbe, from Homeland Security in the United States, said there is ‘some closure to be had with a sentence like this’, and that he had never seen ‘someone willing to go to these lengths to torment people’.
After four years of investigations by the FBI, GCHQ and the National Crime Agency, the accounts were linked to Falder’s address on Harborne Park Road which was raided after he was arrested in his office at the university.
Following three days of questioning, it became clear that Falder was behind the anonymous accounts, and in October he was charged with 157 initial offences, with 51 still to be investigated. Judge Philip Parker described him as ‘warped and sadistic’ and summarised his double-life by telling him that ‘no one who knew you above ground had an inkling of what you were doing below the surface’.