January 2018

Disgraced councillor and teacher swapped vile images of child abuse with another shamed former Tory pervert

A disgraced councillor and primary school teacher swapped vile images of children with another shamed former Tory pervert.

Shamed Trafford politician Matthew Sephton exchanged sick pictures with ex-Conservative Richard Willis, now he has been caged.

The 42-year-old has been jailed for two years and nine months for making and distributing almost 4,000 indecent images and videos of children – and downloading extreme pornography.

A judge described Sephton’s fall from grace as ‘spectacular’.

Sephton, who has represented Altrincham on Trafford council for nearly four years, tried to blame his crimes on a ‘fictional’ man he claimed to have met in Manchester’s Gay Village.

The prominent former Conservative, who is also teacher at Westmorland Primary School in Stockport, was a member of paedophile chat groups and shared pictures of children being abused with former Lincolnshire councillor Willis on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

In one exchange Sephton asked him: “How old is he?”

Willis replied: “About 14,” to which he said: “Yum – any younger?”

The pair are both former town councillors in Sleaford. They were arrested in December 2016 as part of a National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation.

Willis, 51, was jailed last June after admitting making and sharing indecent images.

Sephton was suspended from the Conservative Party and his teaching post after being detained.

Letters were sent to parents at Westmorland Primary detailing Sephton’s arrest.

His home on Maximus Drive in Altrincham was searched and two phones and a computer seized.

Forensic examination of the devices revealed he had searched for and downloaded thousands of indecent images of children, some of which were in the worst category possible.

Sephton used a chat application on one of his phones to talk to members of various groups dedicated to sharing child abuse images.

He was found guilty of five counts of relating to indecent images of children and one of possessing extreme pornography following a five-day trial at Minshull Street Crown Court.

Sephton tried to blame his crimes on a man named only as ‘Tom’ he claimed to have met on Canal Street in Manchester city centre and with whom he had an ‘ad-lib’ relationship.

Prosecutors described ‘Tom’ as a ‘mythical’ figure and under questioning, Sephton’s story fell to pieces.

The court heard Sephton did not mention the ‘fictional’ man to police until October last year – 10 months after his arrest.

Sephton is understood not to have renewed his Conservative Party membership.

The process to remove him as a councillor at Trafford town hall will begin soon. Sephton, who will be on the sex offenders’ register for the rest of his life, will be sacked imminently from his teaching position by Stockport council, it is understood.

Sephton stood for the Conservatives in the 2012 Manchester Central by-election.

He also served until 2014 as chairman of the Conservative Party’s LGBT campaign group, LGBTory, and held a senior position with the Altrincham and Sale West Conservative Association.

‘Your fall from grace has indeed been spectacular’

Jude Angela Neil told Sephton: “This has been a massive and well publicised fall from grace.

“You are by no means alone in sitting in the dock in this court facing offences of this nature, but because of who you were and what you have achieved in what was a hugely successful life, your fall from grace has indeed been spectacular.

“At 42 years of age you have achieved a great deal.

“You were a teacher and you were a local councillor who tried his very best for the constituents who he served.

Sephton was convicted of making 849 category A indecent images of children between November 6 and December 1; making 722 category B indecent images of children during the same period; making 2,111 category C indecent images of children; possession of extreme pornography; possession of 106 indecent images of children; and distribution of six indecent images of children.