February 7, 2023

‘Evil’ child rapist jailed for life after being unmasked by new technology

A prolific and “evil” kid rapist has been jailed for life right after staying unmasked using new technologies designed in the Uk that unpixelated an image of his face identified in pictures he had taken of himself abusing his victims.

Martyn Armstrong, from Pembrokeshire, documented himself committing “depraved” acts in opposition to a few children, including a victim as young as one, around a selection of many years and posted the photos to the darkish website.

The 50-year-outdated was arrested in July past 12 months just after officers formulated the never ever in advance of used instrument.

He pleaded guilty to a overall of 41 counts of rape of a baby under the age of 13 and sexual assault connected to two victims, and to generating, distributing and possessing indecent visuals of youngsters in relation to them both of those and a third victim.

Roger Griffiths, prosecuting, explained to Cardiff Crown Courtroom Armstrong experienced taken the illustrations or photos of him abusing little ones amongst 2005 and 2007, and involving December 16, 2009, and February 6, 2011, and experienced admitted to having pictures of a third boy or girl on a seashore in 2010.

Cardiff Crown Court (Antony Stone/PA)

Armstrong experienced posted on the net a sequence of 200 exceptionally graphic images and a online video beneath the file title ‘Father Jones’ which reveals him frequently raping his youngest sufferer.

The series has been recognised to crime businesses across the planet since 2013 thanks to the file becoming shared and downloaded throughout 18 countries, not which include the Uk, inside of South The united states, Australia and Europe.

The folder was nevertheless becoming shared in the Uk in early 2022 across 6 web-sites, and had been uncovered by police forces in 583 forensic submissions.

Mr Griffiths said Armstrong experienced made use of photoshop to location a zig-zag distortion throughout his picture, but manufactured no attempt to disguise the identities of his victims.

Owing to his experience currently being blurred, investigators were not able to discover the paedophile for just about a 10 years, irrespective of attempts by legislation enforcement partners from Australia, Italy and France, with an officer from the latter place determining the actual beach location in Wales which experienced showcased in some of the illustrations or photos.

Mr Griffiths claimed: “One impression featured the offenders encounter with a zig zag distortion.

“As a final result in July 2022 and the Countrywide Criminal offense Agency officers utilizing their new tool they were being capable to unpixelate the impression of the defendant in that collection.”

The software package was made by NCA officers in the United kingdom and is the 1st of its sort to be made in the world.

It is anticipated the programme will assistance future perpetrators to be identified.

From the undistorted image, the officers were being capable to detect Armstrong’s Facebook profile major to his arrest.

Officers seized a number of his gadgets and learned a disturbing cache of pictures which includes 789 group A, 989 classification B and 2227 category C.

Mr Griffiths said: “Mr Armstrong was tracked down and requested if he was responsible of the offences and he answered ‘to some of them yes’.

Armstrong admitted to distributing photos and to naming the Father Jones sequence, saying he had also taken visuals of one particular of his victims on a seaside, telling officers: “I often have a digicam with me.”

Adam Sharp, defending, mentioned: “Mr Armstrong does not want me to consider to mitigate the depravity of his actions or the affect they experienced on his victims.”

Mr Sharp reported his shopper has taken entire accountability for his steps, but questioned the decide to choose into account how he cooperated with officers and had led them to identify other victims.

In a target effect statement browse to the court, one of his victims mentioned: “The next I saw the piece of paper (with the photographs), it felt like I couldn’t breathe.

“I noticed my smiley, younger self entire of joy, self-assurance and innocence.

“I am no more time able to appear at these pics devoid of a rush of stress and heartache.

“I feel betrayed, manipulated and deceived.”

Addressing Armstrong, they reported: “You abused me, manipulated me and have forever darkened a piece of my childhood.

“When I consider about the variety of human being who could dedicate this kind of horrific crimes, I really feel like only a monster could ever be liable. Under no circumstances did I believe that all along, the only monster was you.”

Sentencing Armstrong to a lifetime imprisonment with a minimum time period of 14 years, Recorder of Cardiff Tracey Lloyd-Clarke stated: “In these courts we deal with the most significant sexual offences but the nature and depravity of your offending is stunning.

“No doubt you believed the safety measures you took to cover your identification would secure you from becoming determined.

“Thanks to the superior perform of officers from the National Criminal offense Agency and other legislation enforcement companies across the entire world you were being apprehended.”

The choose claimed probation officers had categorised Armstrong as large-hazard and identified he experienced an “obsession with the sexual abuse of children and babies”.

“You distributed photographs of small children for the sexual gratification of other paedophiles,” she included.

“That will keep on for the relaxation of their life simply because these images are not able to be recalled.”

Armstrong was also built the subject matter of a 25-calendar year sexual harm avoidance purchase, alongside with restraining order in relation to the three victims.

Sporting a navy blue fleece and blue polo shirt, he confirmed no emotion as he was taken down.

Martin Ludlow from the NCA explained: “It is above 17 several years considering that Armstrong commenced to abuse these young kids. I do not believe that he considered he would ever be caught and that the distortion procedures he utilised would shield him.

“However, the NCA and our worldwide associates were established to ensure his evil steps did not go unpunished.

“Our dedication to pinpointing him was unwavering and in the end, NCA officers produced a fully new programme which led to his unmasking.

“We will continue on to work jointly and do all we can to bring offenders like Armstrong to justice and protect innocent little ones from baby sexual abuse.”