Stansted man jailed for sexual offences

Custody photograph of Matthew Hyam, of Sunnyside, Stansted who was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court

Custody photograph of Matthew Hyam, of Sunnyside, Stansted who was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court - Credit: Essex Police

A man who admitted a series of sexual offences after more than 3,500 images and video of child abuse were found on devices in his home has been jailed.

Officers from the Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT) received information that indecent images of children were being accessed via the internet at a Stansted address.

They carried out a search at the address in Sunnyside, Stansted, in July 2020.

Devices were seized and forensic searches found more than 3,500 images and videos of child abuse.

Matthew Hyam, 48, the only person living at the address at the time, was arrested.

Officers also found videos of nine girls and women taken by Hyam over a number of years.

The victims were later identified and confirmed they were not aware they had been filmed.

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Hyam was charged with four counts of taking indecent images of children, five counts of voyeurism and three counts of making indecent images of children.

He admitted the charges at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Monday June 14 and at Chelmsford Crown Court today (Monday, September 6) was sentenced to two years and four months imprisonment.

He will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Jodie Kinsley from POLIT said: “Matthew Hyam was a trusted member of the community so I know that this news will be difficult for many.

“Please be reassured that all involved have been identified and have been safeguarded and supported throughout the investigation.

“Not only did Hyam access thousands of materials of child abuse, he filmed his victims using hidden cameras for his own gratification, without a second thought for the distressing impact it would have on them.

“I’d like to give a clear message to anyone that hides behind their profile online or thinks they can continue to behave in this way unnoticed: everything you do leaves a trace. We will find you and we will bring you to justice.”

Detective Inspector Jo Collins, who leads POLIT, said: “This result is a testament to the continued hard work of my team.

“Every day they are committed to trawling through the internet, and some of the most disturbing online platforms, to decipher where images and videos of child abuse are being uploaded and shared to help keep your children safe.

“There is a person at the heart of every image and video, and anyone who takes, views or shares these materials exploits that victim time and time again.

"In this particular case, it was the proactive work of my team that uncovered Hyam’s behaviour and it will prevent him from taking advantage of any further women and girls.

“We know these are worrying offences and if anyone has any concerns I would urge them to contact us.

“No matter who the individual is, our team will investigate and seek to charge anyone who exploits young and vulnerable people.”

Police want to hear from anyone who would like to report information.

You can report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or call 101.

If you would like to remain anonymous you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation is also a UK-wide child protection charity focused solely on preventing child sexual abuse. The charity runs Stop it Now! – a child sexual abuse prevention campaign and helpline.

Visit the website www.stopitnow.org.uk or call the confidential Stop it Now! helpline on 0808 1000 900.

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