October 2017

Paedophile who had 3,000 abuse images jailed for two years

A man has been jailed after telling a convicted child sex offender that videos of fathers abusing their sons were ‘the best I’ve seen’.

Deputy pub manager Matt DeVere, 34, was part of an online paedophile ring which shared images of children as young as eight months being raped and encouraged each other to share images

Matt De Vere, 34, a deputy pub manager, was part of an online paedophile ring that shared images of children being raped, Chelmsford crown court heard.

Charlotte Newell, prosecuting, said police examined five electronic devices belonging to De Vere and found more than 3,000 images of abuse.

Some of the children portrayed had been tied up, struck with a belt, or appeared to be drugged or asleep.

De Vere, of Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, admitted at an earlier hearing to 13 offences including distributing and making indecent images of children, encouraging others to share images, and possession of extreme pornography, which the court heard was largely bestiality.

De Vere spent much of Friday’s hearing in tears in the dock.

Sentencing him to two years in prison, the judge, Patricia Lynch, said: “You were part of a paedophile ring and the group of you were encouraging and distributing, and it’s because of your actions that more vulnerable children are going to be filmed as the demand for this sort of filth increases.”

A sexual harm prevention order was made for an indefinite amount of time, De Vere’s electronic devices were confiscated and he was barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.

The online paedophile ring was infiltrated by undercover police officers in the US and Canada, and some offenders were traced to the UK, Newell said. The paedophiles had used legitimate video conferencing software such as Skype and Zoom to communicate and share images and videos of abuse.

De Vere was arrested in June 2016 after investigators in the UK examined Skype conversations belonging to Peter Allott, a former deputy headteacher of a west London school who was jailed for similar offences last year.

De Vere and Allott had sent each other abuse images of children.

Newell said: “Mr De Vere asked for more, saying ‘please say you’ve got more like that, please please, best I’ve seen’.”

Police examined five electronic devices including an iPad and smartphone, and found 3,455 indecent images of children, including 1,179 at the most serious category A level.

The offending spanned November 2015 to June 2016, but the court heard there was evidence of access to indecent material as early as 2013.

Newell said De Vere used the name “Max Thunder” in online conversations and he had “a particular sexual interest in fathers abusing their sons”.