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Brit jailed after paying for sexual abuse of children from all over the world

Matthew Bower, 52,  was identified by the FBI (NCA)
Matthew Bower, 52, was identified by the FBI (NCA)

A “dangerous” paedophile has been jailed for orchestrating and paying for the sexual abuse of young children from all over the world.

Matthew Bower, 52, from Swanley, Kent was found to have paid £6,000 to the female relative of an American teenage girl mostly to sexually abuse her and send him images and live-streamed footage.

Chat logs were recovered which showed Bower – using the username ‘evo5_mat’ - instructing the woman what he wanted her to do to the 15-year-old.

In some of the chat, he says “OK KINDA LIKE TO SEE BOTH OF U PICS, SO MAYBE WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW IS SHE FREE” and then “SENT U 80 SO EXPECT A LOT”.

He was identified by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers after the “brave” victim told the FBI that her abuse was photographed and the images were being sent to a man in the UK for various sums of money.

He was arrested on 22 August 2017 on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children and arranging & facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.

NCA found the mother had sent Bower 308 images of herself with the victim, as well as two ‘live-streamed’ videos between 2016 and 2017.

NCA officers also found additional chat logs and online conversations where Bower was actively encouraging others to sexually abuse young children.

They also identified a woman in Romania who had been abusing a child under the age of two, as directed by Bower.

She was convicted in December 2019 of rape and child abuse offences and is currently serving more than eight years in prison.

Bower had also been contacting a number of children online via Skype, encouraging them to send him naked photos and perform sexual acts on camera.

Two girls, aged 8 and 15, from the United States were identified as having been coerced by Bower into sending indecent images. Both have since been safeguarded by the US authorities.

He initially told officers he had been the victim of hacking, but in October 2023, pleaded guilty to 15 offences including causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and making over 1,700 indecent images of children, including category A images.

Sentencing him at Croydon Crown Court HHJ Lowe handed Bower an extended sentence of 13 years in prison, saying he had “no hesitation in concluding you are dangerous”.

The offences Bower pleaded guilty to were committed between 2008 and 2017.

Jen Cruickshank, Senior Investigating Officer at the NCA, said: “Bower is clearly a dangerous individual who has a depraved sexual interest in children. For a significant period of time he actively sought people online – both adults and children – whom he could coerce into sending him abuse material for his sexual gratification.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the victims who bravely spoke about the abuse they had suffered. The initial victim report was the catalyst for this investigation and ultimately led to us being able to identify Bower and ensure further victims were safeguarded.

“The NCA is dedicated to protecting children and disrupting the highest harm offenders wherever they are in the world. Collaboration with our international colleagues is imperative in achieving this.”