Prolific paedophile who blackmailed his victims to be sentenced

A paedophile who blackmailed his internet victims into carrying out degrading sex acts is to be sentenced.

Cambridge graduate Matthew Falder admitted more than 100 offences, including encouraging a teenager to rape a four-year-old boy, at a court hearing in October last year.

Posing as a female artist he used dozens of aliases to contact more than 50 victims over seven years, but was brought to justice after the UK's first successful prosecution relating to the so-called "hurtcore" online underworld.

Falder duped those he contacted into sending compromising images of themselves, before blackmailing them with the material and then sharing his efforts with others in hidden forums on the internet's secretive dark web.

Falder, of Edgbaston, Birmingham, a former geophysicist researcher at Birmingham University, has admitted 137 charges in all.

The 28-year-old's sentencing begins at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday, and is expected to take three days.