Cambridge graduate Matthew Falder preyed on more than 200 victims before sharing many of their abuse pictures on the dark web.
The 29-year-old’s conducted his abuse from his pokey flat, where he was surrounded by clothes, food containers and socks strewn over the floor – as well as a roll of toilet paper on his bed.
Footage taken from his home showed his desk piled with rubbish as well as golf balls, an iPhone docking station and what looks to be a tub of dried up mushrooms.
Other objects surrounding his desktop computer include a pad of post-it notes, multiple pairs of scissors, superglue, wine glasses, tissues, cloths and batteries.
The Cambridge graduate blackmailed a string of vulnerable victims – including a girl who was ordered to eat dog food.
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He admitted to 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 (NCA).
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.”
Branding him an “internet highwayman”, he added: “You wanted to assume total control over your victims.
“Your behaviour was cunning, persistant, manipulative and cruel.”
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.”
The NCA launched a manhunt in April 2015 after he 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 post sparked a nationwide hunt by the NCA 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.
In footage of his arrest on June 21, 2015, Falder is heard telling officers: “So, what is it I am supposed to have done?”
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.”
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 he 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.
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”.
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'”.
Falder, of Harborne Park Road, Birmingham, committed the offences over an eight-year period and never physically met any of his victims.
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.”
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.”
One of Falder’s 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”.
Ms Iguyovwe added: “He was very, very cold. He absolutely showed no respect, no regard.
“He wrecked their lives.”
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.