Disgraced deputy head at Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s £20K-a-year primary school promised kids he would pay them £65K if they shared sexual photos of themselves
- Matthew Smith ex-deputy at Prince George’s school arranged child sex photos
- He recruited teens to groom children and offered to pay fees for sexual images
The disgraced former deputy headteacher at Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s primary school promised children he would pay them if they shared sexual photos of themselves, a court heard.
Matthew Smith, 35, commissioned the horrific abuse of children as young as seven whilst working at a British school in Nepal.
Smith recruited teenagers he knew to groom children and offered to pay their school fees in exchange for sexual images. He was due to be sentenced yesterday afternoon, having previously admitted 18 counts of child sex abuse levelled against him.
But the Judge deferred handing Smith a ‘substantial’ prison sentence until next week, in order to do the complicated case ‘justice’.
Matthew Smith (pictured), 35, commissioned the horrific abuse of children as young as seven whilst working at a British school in Nepal
Smith (pictured) recruited teenagers he knew to groom children and offered to pay their school fees in exchange for sexual images
Addressing Smith, who appeared at Southwark Crown Court in jeans and a white shirt, the Honourable Justice Martin Griffiths told him: ‘You know I am going to pass a substantial prison sentence. But I really want to go through this, having heard the submissions.
‘I will construct my sentencing remarks and make them available for whoever wants them and deal with you on Wednesday.’
Smith was deputy headteacher at the £20,000-a-year Thomas’s Preparatory School in Battersea, southwest London, until allegations first emerged late last year. None of the offences related to his job at the prestigious primary school, which was attended by Prince George and Princess Charlotte until the end of the last academic year.
Before taking up the job at St Thomas’s, he worked at a British school in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, between 2017 and July 2022.
The court heard Smith had also previously worked at an orphanage in Nepal, and that some of the images found on his black Dell laptop derived from his former place of work.
His home in East Dulwich, south London, was raided by police last November, where a cache of more than 120,000 indecent images of children was found on his laptop, an SD card and his mobile phone.
Martin Hooper, prosecuting, told the court Smith was on his black Dell laptop at the time of the raid, and that a ‘a number of tabs’ were open which involved ‘indecent images of children’.
After his arrest, Smith admitted in a police interview: ‘Clearly I have an addiction in this area. I don’t like the person I am.
‘I would give anything to be normal. Anything.’
Mr Hooper added: ‘Asked if there was any relevance to his employment history and whether he abused anyone at work, [Smith] was quite emphatic in saying no. His history is important, as at the time of his arrest in November 2022 he was employed as a teacher. He was the deputy head of pastoral care at Thomas’s School, which teaches children aged four to thirteen.
‘Prior to that he was a teacher in Nepal and had volunteered at an orphanage with children aged between two and 15. Some of the material on the defendant’s laptop showed the exploitation of at least one child from that orphanage.
‘After his interview, the police fully downloaded all the material that this case involves.
‘It was clear from that that there were a number of different individuals that the defendant was corresponding with to illicit images of children and the physical exploitation of children.’
Smith was deputy headteacher at the £20,000-a-year Thomas’s Preparatory School (pictured) in Battersea, southwest London, until allegations first emerged late last year
Mr Hooper explained that the first folder police examined involved communication with a young boy in India, who Smith paid to engage in sexual activities with his younger brother – estimated to be ten years old. Smith would also send his own images to the young brothers asking for them to be ‘recreated’, and transferred them nearly £7,000.
Another folder related to material sent by a boy in India whilst Smith was working at the British school in Kathmandu.
Messages examined by police related to sexual acts the boy and Smith committed together, with the young boy referring to him in some messages as ‘Uncle’.
‘The defendant requested [the boy] went and found young males to live with him with the express intention that they would be sexually abused,’ Mr Hooper said. The defendant said he would pay their school fees in return.
‘One boy left his family home to go and live with [Smith’s contact]. The boy [who left his family home] is thought to be seven or eight years old. It was very much a two-way flow of images. [In one message to his contact] the defendant says, ‘Awesome. What else will he do?’ The harm is extreme. It’s the highest category of culpability.
‘There is planning, grooming; images were kept and there was a commercial aspect to it as well. It may be argued there was isolation of the victim as well.’
Mr Hooper suggested Mr Justice Griffiths sentenced Smith by finding the most serious offence and ‘aggravating’ it to reflect the others.
Sarah Vine, KC, defending Smith, told the judge some of the charges were ‘inchoate’ – or preparatory to a further criminal act that was never acted upon – and sought to highlight that there was no evidence that young children had been subjected to penetrative sex.
Ms Vine argued it was credit to his character that Smith had written to ‘every single member’ of his family and friends to explain what was happening and ‘apologise to them for the distress’ he may have caused them.
She added: ‘It has been to his very significant credit the extent to which Mr Smith is prepared to accept his offending. He very much understands his life over the next substantial period will be in custody.
‘Difficult as his time thus far in custody has been, he has nonetheless sought to use it constructively.
‘A man of excellent education, he has set about teaching other inmates to read and write.
‘He hopes he will have, in some way, made some tiny reparation for the harm he has caused.’
Smith is now due to be sentenced on Wednesday.
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