Victim ‘absolutely devastated and broken’

Matthew Dick was found with hundreds of illegal files, including footage of babies being violated...
Matthew Dick was found with hundreds of illegal files, including footage of babies being violated. Photo: Rob Kidd
A Dunedin man who filmed himself violating a woman then spread the images throughout cyberspace has been jailed for nearly a decade.

Matthew Ryan Dick, 42, appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to 14 charges representing an array of depravity.

One of the victims told the court she was "absolutely devastated and broken" by his actions.

"It angers me my life has been irreversibly changed forever."

Dick’s crimes were only uncovered by chance.

He gave a games console to a friend and when a pet nudged the controller it revealed a series of explicit thumbnail photos on his profile.

Police raided Dick’s home in August last year and seized his cellphone, forensic examination of which uncovered his dark predilections.

There were 137 images and 18 videos of one woman, all of which were taken without her knowledge.

The details of the files are too graphic for publication but included various violations, including with household items.

Police even found one video in which Dick filmed the victim while receiving messages from another man, directing him where to point the camera.

Another featured the defendant performing a sex act while he watched the sleeping woman from behind a curtain.

Investigators also discovered Dick had been using the encrypted communication app Telegram on which he distributed the illicit material.

Over two and a-half months he engaged in 46 conversations with other users to whom he sent the footage and encouraged them to respond with their own lewd videos.

A summary of facts said Dick uploaded many of the images to file-sharing website Mega, and would send links to Telegram users so they could access them.

The defendant also used Instagram photos from a teenage girl and digitally altered them using an artificial-intelligence application to make them explicit.

The court heard his sexual interest also extended to younger children.

Hundreds of pictures and more than 1000 videos were found linked to his Mega account, some of which involved babies being violated and others bestiality.

More than three-quarters of the sampled objectionable material fell into the most serious category.

Judge David Robinson detected "minimisation" in Dick’s comments to Probation during a pre-sentence interview in which he claimed he was unaware of some of files on his phone.

His only explanation for the crimes was he was "in a bad head space".

A report on Dick’s background suggested childhood trauma, addiction issues and unresolved grief had played some role in his deterioration.

But the judge said the report writer’s opinions the defendant may suffer from ADHD and sex addiction were invalid.

"That’s a matter for expert diagnosis," he said.

Counsel Sarah Saunderson-Warner stressed Dick was committed to rehabilitation while in prison and had made a written apology.

The victim said her life now felt in constant limbo as she came to terms with the violations.

"[He] sent the images into a world of evil and depravity," she said.

Dick was jailed for nine years, nine months.