London, Feb 20 (IANS) A British university researcher has been sentenced to 32 years in prison for a litany of “warped and sadistic” crimes, including blackmail and sexual exploitation.
Matthew Falder, 29, admitted to 137 separate offences that when put together told “a tale of ever-increasing depravity,” Judge Philip Parker said during the sentencing in Birmingham on Monday.
“Your behaviour was cunning, persistent, manipulative and cruel,” CNN quoted Parker as saying.
Falder was accused of posing as a depressed female artist who would ask young adults and teenagers to send him naked pictures online.
He then used the photographs to blackmail them, according to the Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA).
Falder committed some of crimes on so-called “hurt core” forums on the dark web, where users discuss and share images of violent acts like rape, murder, sadism, torture, paedophilia, according to the NCA.
By the time he was arrested in June 2017 , Falder had approached more than 300 people across the world, CNN reported.
Prosecutors described Falder as a man living a double life; a Cambridge University graduate and Birmingham University researcher in geophysics by day and a sexual predator by night.
“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 revelled in it,” said Matt Sutton, a senior investigating officer at the NCA.