May 2021

Surrey pervert who filmed girl on webcam avoids prison time

A pervert who filmed a 14-year-old girl getting undressed on a webcam years before sexually assaulting her will not serve any time in jail.

Matthew Hewitson, who said he bought the device to ‘film cats’, was also caught with dozens of indecent images of children and extreme pornographic images while residing in Bracknell.

The 40-year-old, of Woodlands Road, Guildford, will not spend any time behind bars, however, after he was given a suspended sentence at Reading Crown Court earlier today.

Hewitson was caught by police when alerted to the download of an indecent image at his address in February 2020.

After being arrested, he admitted possessing the indecent images and confessed to a range of other offences.

Alan Gardner, prosecuting, said: “He described himself as having relationship difficulties which led to him watching porn.

“Hewitson started watching content he knew to be indecent.

“He then told officers he had set up a webcam in his spare room [at his old residence] in Addlestone [Surrey].

“Initially he had set it up to watch cats. But he told police he had caught three people getting undressed and said he used that footage to masturbate to.”

One of the people filmed getting undressed was a 14-year-old girl.

Hewitson then started sending sexual messages to the girl, telling her: “you’re a stunning girl. Do you not get horny and want to do stuff?”

The court heard how, years later, Hewitson groped the girl at an event when she was 18 and again asked her if she was “horny”.

He also admitted to possessing 20 images of extreme pornography, which included depictions of animals, and a pornographic video which included a ‘life-threatening’ act.

Summing up, Judge Heather Norton credited Hewitson for his cooperation with the police.

Discussing the webcam recording, the Judge said: “You took this recording for your personal gratification.

“[The victim] was horrified to learn you had taken these images of her.”

Judge Norton also said the messages Hewitson had sent the girl were “inappropriate” and the sexual assault was “minor but distressing”.

She claimed his co-operation with police gave her “hope” that he could be rehabilitated.

The court heard: “Although you are regarded as low-risk for the future, your insight needs to be worked on.

“But these [actions] were extremely serious and will have a lasting effect on [the victim]”

Sentencing, Judge Norton handed Hewitson a 14-month prison sentence suspended for two years, meaning he will avoid jail unless he commits another offence or breaches any conditions of his sentence.

He must attend a sexual offences rehabilitation programme and also undertake 200 hours of unpaid community work.

Hewitson was also given a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

The Surrey man, who pleaded guilty to sexual communications with a child, sexual assault, three counts of possessing indecent images of a child, three voyeurism offences and one count of possessing extreme pornographic images, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Friday, May 7.