Update: Now living in Exeter

April 2016

Paedophile found with images of naked boys on phone shortly after he completed sex offenders’ course

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A former barman has been jailed after he was found with images of naked boys on his phone shortly after he completed a sex offenders’ course.

Matthew Clark was sent on the course as part of suspended sentence imposed when he used an online cloud to share images with fellow paedophiles.

He was found with 34 selfie style images of naked boys aged 14 to 17 when police from the public protection team carried out a routine check on his iPhone.

An app for the gay dating site Grindr was found on the phone and he said he received the images from a contact he met through it, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Clark, aged 31, of Union Street, Newton Abbot, and formerly of Popham Close, Tiverton, admitted three offences of possessing indecent images of children and two of breaching the terms of the sex offenders’ register.

He was jailed for a total of 12 months by Judge Graham Cottle, who told him:”You undertook the Internet Sex Offenders’ Treatment programme. You obviously did not learn from that programme or learn enough from it.

“You committed identical offences in breach of a suspended sentence. It is unavoidable you must serve some of that sentence.”

Mr Gordon Richings, prosecuting, said Clark received a suspended sentence in September 2013 and was being monitored by the police under a sexual offences prevention order.

An officer visited his home in March 2015 and examined his iPhone where she found a Grindr app and naked images which looked as if they had been taken by men of themselves in mirrors.

The phone was examined and 34 of the images were of boys aged 14 to 17. He said they had been sent to him by another man.

Clark is a former Topsham barman who was caught for the first time by a national police investigation into the use of an online drop box to distribute child abuse images.

He distributed 222 pictures or movies and was found with more than 4,000 more on his own computers. At that time his own barrister described him as having an addiction to the images.

October 2013

Parents ‘up in arms’ as paedophile moves home

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WORRIED parents are keeping their children at home now that a man convicted of distributing vile child abuse images is living in their village.

Matthew Clark, 28, recently moved from Tiverton to the outskirts of Uffculme and has set up home close to families with young children.

A fortnight ago, the Gazette reported how he received a suspended prison sentence after admitting seven counts of distributing indecent images of children and 22 of making or possessing illegal images.

He distributed 222 indecent pictures or movies of children and was found with more than 4,000 more on his own computers.

Some of the images Clark had were classed as extreme and included the rape of children as young as two, Exeter Crown Court was told.

An anonymous Uffculme parent said it was “soul destroying” to discover Clark now lived nearby and was a neighbour to children as young as 18 months old.

They said: “There are pre-schools, a primary school and a secondary school close by so it is quite a big issue for parents – they are up in arms about it.

“We don’t want him near our children. It is absolutely soul-destroying. At the moment I am not letting mine out, which is ridiculous, and I can’t believe that man is allowed to live here.

“All of the children are within the age group which he appears to be interested in.”

The parent said that she heard that Clark, who has been ordered to attend a sex offenders’ treatment programme, was now living near the village through gossip among parents waiting for children at the school gates.

Clark, who worked as a barman in Topsham, uploaded hundreds of abuse images into a ‘drop box’ and then used internet chat rooms to give the passwords to like-minded offenders.

Clark is not living next to any schools or nurseries and police say offenders “need to live somewhere” and people should report any suspicious incidents.