These spooks just never give up.
Spies from GCHQ were brought in to help catch a paedophile who was blackmailing victims on the internet and forcing them to carry out degrading and humiliating acts.
Cambridge graduate Matthew Falder used the dark web to target vulnerable men, women and children online, getting them to send photographs of themselves in compromising positions before sharing the material with other users as part of a trend called the ‘hurtcore’.
Falder, who snared victims by posing as a female artist offering money for nude pictures, contacted hundreds of people through websites such as Gumtree.
Once they had agreed to send images he then began blackmailing them with a “constant stream” of increasingly depraved requests, forcing one to lick a lavatory seat and another to eat dog food.
Another young girl was forced to take naked video and pictures of herself holding signs with racist and homophobic slogans. Three of his victims attempted suicide.
Falder, 29, of Edgbaston, Birmingham, was only snared after an investigation led by the National Crime Agency (NCA) with help from the GCHQ listening station.
He had previously admitted 137 charges against 48 victims, in offending stretching over eight years, until 2017.
Opening the case at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday , Ruona Iguyovwe said he enticed his victims “to produce increasingly severe self-generated indecent images of themselves, the focus of these images being to humiliate and degrade the victims”.
Ms Iguyovwe said once the former Birmingham University geophysicist researcher had compromising images of his victims, he offered a choice; either they send him more material or he would send the images to their friends and family.
He told one to “choose carefully”, or he would “send the images to everyone on Facebook associated with your school, and in letters to your parents and teachers, explaining with printouts of all the pictures that you will strip for money”.
Describing the impact of Falder’s actions, one of his victims told the court: “I feel dirty, like used goods.”
In an emotional statement, the victim added the ordeal had triggered the breakdown of relationships with her parents and boyfriend, and forced her to leave home.
“Part of me believes that’s all I am good for anymore – to be abused,” she said.
Judge Philip Parker QC told her she was “exceedingly brave” for coming to court.
The three-day sentencing hearing continues.
That’s what the sharpest brains in the Anglosphere are busy dealing with: some naughty and outright mischievous behavior committed by a guy who… well, you know what, he probably is a psychopath, but still – I’m sick and tired of these state agents interfering in the private sexual affairs of various random citizens. The irony is that the spooks are very often themselves psychopaths.
The world is just so dark sometimes. All we have left to entertain ourselves with at this point is the lulz. And some booze too, I guess.