Man paid 93p to have child abuse live-streamed to Irvine home

The trial took place at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
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A sales adviser is believed to be the first person in Scotland to be convicted of live-streaming the sexual abuse of children.

Mathew Bell, 51, directed the attacks from his home in Irvine, North Ayrshire.

He was in contact with female paedophiles in the Philippines to prey on the innocent youngsters as he watched. He paid 93p to see a young girl being abused.

A judge heard how Scots cybercrime experts had never witnessed such a case before in this country.

It also emerged Bell directed a man to rape an unconscious woman via live-stream, which included him stating: “Yes, this is good.”

Bell is now in jail after he pled guilty to four charges under the Sexual Offences Act. This included “inciting the commission” of the abuse of children as well as well as conspiring to rape the woman.

Lord Arthurson told the first offender the crimes were of the “utmost depravity” and he will be sentenced later this month. The High Court in Glasgow heard how Bell was arrested in March last year, and his computer and a hard drive were analysed.

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 court was told a young boy was attacked in April 2016. Bell chatted to two women via Skype as the pair preyed on the child.

The hearing was then told Bell “participated in the sexual abuse” of a girl in March 2017.

He again spoke to a Filipino woman via Skype as she attacked the child.

A message is sent stating: “Give good show… now I send 1k cash (in) morning”.

Another girl was also targeted in a similar way around the same time.

Bell was in touch with women through Skype as he instructed them what to do.

The court heard there was also evidence of Bell “making payment for the sexual services of a child”. This emerged from a “live screenshot” during the abuse.

Mr Borthwick: “It showed Bell making a payment of 50 Philippine pesos (93p)… there is an element of bartering as the female will not continue.”

The prosecutor said: “Normally, police cybercrime recover images in which an accused person has not been involved in the abuse itself, but has instead downloaded.

“The cybercrime unit is not aware of any other case involving live streaming of child sexual abuse in a foreign jurisdiction.”

Police also uncovered footage of a woman being raped in 2013 under the direction of Bell via the internet. The crime is thought to have occurred somewhere in the Philippines.

Mr Borthwick: “The recordings are in a split screen format with one side showing a male and female, the other showing Bell.

The court heard Bell would have been “aware” of her stricken condition.

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