July 2020

Pervert posed as 14-year-old boy online

A vile paedophile posed as a 14-year-old boy to encourage girls to send indecent images, and filmed one of them in the bathroom.

Matthew Toms has been given an 11 year sentence after posing as a teenager on Instagram and encouraging two girls aged 13 and 15 to send pictures to him.

The 41-year-old knew the girls as they were relatives of a former friend, and he was exposed after one of his victims put his phone number into WhatsApp and it came up with his photograph.

Toms, of Dalmatia Road, Southend, was arrested on August 19 last year after the girls’ mother contacted the police.

When officers examined his phone they found evidence of the conversations Toms had been having with the girls, which had begun as normal but then progressed to being sexual.

Toms was released on bail and on October 23 was visited by an officer to check on him to ensure he was obeying the terms of his sexual harm prevention order, previously given to him in 2015 where he had been convicted of possessing indecent images of children.

It was here that Toms confessed to police he had a hard drive hidden in the arm of a chair in his bedroom which he had hidden from them since 2015.

On the hard drive were hundreds of indecent images and videos of children including Category A, the most serious kind.

It was found Toms had recorded himself sexually touching one of the two girls while she slept, over her clothes, and secretly recorded one when she was in the bath.

Toms later admitted 12 charges including sexual assault, inciting children into sexual activity, voyeurism and breaching his order, taking place from 2015 to 2019.

Judge Samantha Leigh sentenced Toms to six years in jail and he must serve at least five years on licence after release from custody, bringing it to an 11 year sentence.

Referring to his messages, she said: “She was grossed out by that behaviour and ceased all contact. She’s clearly a very sensible young girl.”