Glasgow & West Scotland

Man admits live-streaming child sex abuse at Irvine home

Mathew Bell Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Mathew Bell directed the attacks from his home in Irvine

A 51-year-old man is believed to be the first person in Scotland to be convicted of live-streaming the sexual abuse of children.

Mathew Bell directed the attacks from his home in Irvine, North Ayrshire.

The High Court in Glasgow heard Bell was in contact with female paedophiles in the Philippines to prey on the youngsters as he watched.

On one occasion, he paid 93p to see a young girl being abused.

A judge was told Scots cyber-crime experts had never witnessed such a case before in this country.

'Utmost depravity'

It also emerged Bell directed a man to rape an unconscious woman via live-stream.

He is now behind bars after pleading guilty to four charges under the Sexual Offences Act.

These included "inciting the commission" of the abuse of children as well as conspiring to rape the woman.

Lord Arthurson told the first offender the crimes were of the "utmost depravity".

The court had heard how Bell was caught in March last year.

His computer as well as a hard-drive were analysed.

Child exploitation

Prosecutor Steven Borthwick said: "Moving images of child sexual exploitation were recovered.

"Bell has instructed said abuse to take place by verbal and written communication to persons in the Philippines via internet message services."

The prosecutor added: "Normally, police cyber-crime recover images in which an accused person has not been involved in the abuse itself, but has instead downloaded.

"The cyber-crime unit is not aware of any other case involving live-streaming of child sexual abuse in a foreign jurisdiction."

Bell was put on the sex offenders register and remanded in custody ahead of sentencing later this month.

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