April 2021: Now released

October 2018

Paedophile PCSO abused and filmed boys and had thousands of sick images

A former PCSO and cub scout leader has been unmasked as a pervert who sexually assaulted a 12—year-old boy, set up a covert camera to film boys going to the toilet and had thousands of sick child abuse images on his computers.

Matthew Hopkins, 31, from Ivybridge in Devon, had been on trial at Truro Crown Court this week charged with a raft of offences.

Hopkins had already been convicted of an indecent assault on a boy at a previous trial, and this week he stood trial before a jury convicted him of three charges of possession of indecent images of children, four making indecent images of children counts, three voyeurism charges as well as possessing a prohibited images of children and possessing an extreme pornographic image.

A reporting restriction put in place prevented us from publishing anything about the case until now, but following the unanimous guilty verdicts we are now in a position to reveal the true extent of Hopkins’ vile perversions.

Opening the case on Monday (October 29), Gareth Evans told the court how the defendant helped out at a cub scout group.

It was in December 2016, after the allegation of sexual assault against Hopkins that he was eventually convicted of, that police searched his home and seized one tower computer custom built by the defendant and a laptop computer.

Mr Evans said: “Police interrogated these computers and their searches revealed 1,300 items identified as being potentially indecent.”

The child abuse images found showed children as young as one or two being anally raped, engaging in sexual acts and having their genitalia exposed.

Also found were an image showing a woman engaging in oral sex with a bear 

Mr Evans added: “Four user profiles were found on each computer but all of the indecent images were found under the username Matt.

“Police had the ability to retrieve search terms and found searches for preteen boys and others clearly indicative of a sexual interest in children.”

Moving onto the voyeurism charges, Mr Evans detailed how 29 movies were recorded in a bathroom, showing boys going to the toilet and on one occasion masturbating.

The prosecution said that it believed the camera was located in the ceiling of the room, with one teenage boy noticing a small hole appear close to a light fitting but not thinking anymore of it.

Detailing the indecent assault that Hopkins had already been convicted of at a separate trial earlier this year, Mr Evans added that it occurred when the boy was just 12 and that Hopkins “acted as if nothing took place” after the act.

Sentencing the bearded Hopkins, Judge Simon Carr said: “In about 2008, when you were in your early 20s you were involved in a cub group and later became a PCSO.

“The victim will have trusted you and you breached the trust in the most appalling way. He simply froze because he could not comprehend what had happened to him and as many young victims do, he simply turned away when trying to process what had happened.

“You then finished, left and acted as if nothing happened. As a result of the boy partially speaking out you moved to other means to satisfy your sexual urges.

“You clearly had some computer knowledge and between 2011 and 2017 you downloaded a very significant amount of child abuse images.

“The images showed the gang rape and rape of very young children, the youngest being just two when she was anally raped.

“People who carry out these acts do so because it is a business and people like you will download the images. You installed peer to peer software so you could download the images without them showing on your browsing history and stored many of the images in carefully created files.

“You are of previous good character but the offences started when you were in your early 20s and you show an entrenched and lifelong sexual interest in young boys.”

Judge Carr jailed Hopkins for a total of five and a half years for all of the offences and made him subject of a 10 year sexual harm prevention order. He must also sign the sex offenders’ register for life.