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Wales Online
Wales Online
Philip Dewey

Ex-soldier found with child abuse films involving babies

A former soldier was found in possession of child abuse videos involving babies after he offered to share images with an undercover police officer. Social media chats were discovered on his phone in which he threatened to post pictures of what appeared to be 14-year-girl on Facebook unless she performed a sexual act.

Jonathan Mathias, 41, was arrested at his parents' house in Porthcawl on September 29 last year while his wife was present. When he was away from his family's earshot he admitted to officers he knew why they were there but claimed he was "just messing about".

A sentencing hearing at Newport Crown Court on Friday heard the undercover officer created a profile on the Kik messaging app and began speaking to the defendant who asked him to "trade pictures". He sent pictures of a girl aged between eight and nine years old being abused and a picture of children's underwear and claimed he had abused a young girl.

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The police obtained a warrant as a result of this and arrested Mathias who initially made no reply. A Samsung phone was seized and when examined was found to contain 39 indecent images of children and seven extreme pornographic images as well as 66 videos of child abuse and nine videos of extreme pornography.

Prosecutor Clare Wilks told the court there were a number of "small children" depicted in the videos – the youngest of which was believed to be a 12-month-old baby. Among the chats on Mathias' phone was a conversation with someone claiming to be a 14-year-old girl in which he threatened to post photos of her on Facebook unless she performed oral sex upon her brother. The defendant had also visited websites related to bestiality.

Father Mathias, now of Honeywood, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to possession and distribution of indecent images and possession of extreme images. The court heard he was of previous good character.

In mitigation Tim Petrides said his client had been a member of the Royal Welch Fusiliers and had served tours of Iraq and Northern Ireland as well as being a member of the prison service. He said the defendant had been diagnosed with PTSD and felt "shame, remorse, and acceptance of harm" as a result of his offending.

Judge Wayne Beard sentenced Mathias to two years and four months imprisonment. He also made him subject to a sexual harm prevention order and sex offender notification requirements for 10 years.

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