Arrest of Northampton pedophile leads police to ringleader of online child abuse gang


Police have tracked down the leader of an online child abuse gang after arresting a known Northampton pedophile.

Simon Peach, 36, was jailed for seven years in June 2021 after detectives found a laptop with 128 records on his laptop of live streams of girls under 16 performing sex acts.

But officers from the Northamptonshire Police Online Pedophile Investigation Team (POLIT) then uncovered messages between Peach and Matthew Mather-Franks, who was later identified as playing a leading role in the group and stopped.

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Peach (left) and Mather-Franks were both part of the same online child pornography ring

The gang – believed to include between six and 10 men – even kept a Google spreadsheet with details of young girls, mostly from Russia, taking part in live sex streams.

Crown Court Judge His Honor Judge David Herbert QC jailed Mather-Franks, 37, for eight years during a hearing on Friday February 11.

Peach and Mather Franks were already on the sex offender registry.

Peach, previously of Clarke Road, had more than 1,000 indecent images of children on her phone and laptop, breaching a sexual abuse prevention order when she was arrested in early 2020.

Four of the five devices belonging to Mather-Franks seized were not registered with police, breaching a sexual abuse prevention order.

He used the devices to commit online sexual offenses involving young girls, mostly between the ages of 9 and 12, although some involved infants. Some of the children involved appeared drugged or intoxicated.

Judge Herbert told Mather-Franks, “The facts show that the work you did on this order failed.”

Police also found evidence of images being shared on an encrypted Telegram group.

Mather-Franks, formerly of Redding Road, Rushden, pleaded guilty to three counts of fabricating indecent images of children, one of payment for the sexual services of a child, one of distributing Category A live stream of child abuse, one of having breached a sexual harm prevention order and one of or encouraging or assisting in committing an offense

Judge Herbert told her, “You have a deep-seated sexual interest in very young girls and you pose a grave danger to them.”

Mather-Franks will serve at least five years and four months behind bars before he can be considered for parole. Once released, he will serve the remainder of his sentence plus and an additional four years on license.

After Friday’s sentencing, DC Andy Shears of the POLIT police team said: ‘I am so thrilled to see the long sentences handed down to these two men who preyed on young children for their own depraved gratification.

“Both men used sophisticated methods to try to evade detection, which makes their behavior even more deplorable.

“However, there is nothing we cannot and are not doing to uncover child abuse and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“Protecting children is something extremely important to me and to Northamptonshire Police and I hope this case shows that if you are a predator like Peach or Mather-Franks we will catch you and put you where you are. belong – behind bars.”


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