PCSO who filmed children in swimming pool changing rooms jailed

A police community support officer (PCSO) has been jailed for carrying out a "campaign of voyeurism" in swimming pool changing rooms and causing young girls around the world to engage in sex acts, including involving animals.

Warning: The following article contains details of a graphic nature

Matthew Shaw, a father-of-two, videoed children believed to be as young as six in swimming pool changing rooms and at a Center Parcs, and admitted to police he may have done it around 100 times.

He also spoke to seven girls - aged between 11 and 15 - from locations including the United States, Australia, Wales and Derbyshire while posing as both a teenage girl and boy, asking for and sending sexual images and videos on Snapchat.

The 38-year-old, a PCSO in Derbyshire for 15 years, incited one young victim to perform sex attacks on a dog and attempted to incite others to perform acts involving their younger siblings.

Sentencing him to 14 years in prison at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday for 24 offences, Judge William Harbage KC said: "You have brought shame and disgust on yourself, your family and the police service.

"These are appalling offences which will fill right-thinking members of the public with horror, revulsion and disgust.

"These are despicable offences you have committed against ordinary members of the public going about their everyday lives.

"I am satisfied that you pose a significant risk of serious harm."

Shaw was first arrested last April when a girl, 10, noticed a GoPro filming her while she was changing at a leisure centre in Nottinghamshire, prosecutor Robert Underwood told the court.

Police later found 25 recordings of children taken in changing rooms at the leisure centre in question and a swimming centre in Mansfield on a seized phone, dating back to October 2021.

Shaw also spoke to seven girls aged between 11 and 16 on Snapchat, first contacting them as a girl named Chloe before introducing a "brother", falsely named Matt, to the victims.

He spoke to one victim, from New Jersey in the US, for over a year dating back to February 2021, starting shortly after her 12th birthday, referring to her as his "baby girl" and leaving the girl feeling as if the pair were in a relationship.

With both this victim and others, he would ask for sexual images and videos, with Mr Underwood saying many felt "uncomfortable", "scared" and "pressured" by the requests and one saying in a victim statement that they were often left crying in their school toilets due to the effects of Shaw's offending.

Shaw got into Center Parcs by 'jumping over a fence' while on bail

While on bail, Shaw visited a Center Parcs in Nottinghamshire, gaining entry by jumping over a fence and using discarded wristbands to access the changing rooms, taking another five recordings between June and August last year.

He was arrested again on 31 August, with Derbyshire Police confirming he had been suspended the next day.

Read more on Sky news:
Warnings across the UK as Met Office predicts colder night into Tuesday
Three in hospital and one missing after suspected gas explosion

In a police interview, he said that he had potentially committed around 100 voyeurism offences but denied having a sexual attraction to children.

Further analysis of devices found at his home in Bernard Avenue, Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, uncovered searches for indecent images and that he had exposed himself to children on the internet chat site Omegle.

Shaw pleaded guilty last December to nine counts of causing a child under 13 to engage in a sexual act, 12 of causing a child to engage in a sexual act, and three counts of voyeurism.

Harinderpal Dhami, mitigating, said Shaw, who has been given an autism diagnosis, was a "lonely, sad and pathetic figure" who struggled to form relationships and initially spoke to the teenage girls to establish friendships, but "age became irrelevant" due to the "euphoria" of speaking to people.

He said: "He took to social media and his mobile phone to strike up what he thought were relationships.

"It quickly took him to a very dark place and he effectively made a misjudgement.

"It did not start out with the aim of grooming young girls.

"He understands the consequences are catastrophic, not for him but for those who are left on the outside."

As well as the custodial sentence, Shaw was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order and ordered to sign the sex offender's register for life.