A teacher from south east London has admitted that he encouraged the rape of a seven-year-old boy and was in possession of over 120,000 child sexual abuse images. 

Matthew Smith, 35, used the dark web to pay young men in India £65,000 to rape and sexually abuse children as young as seven and then send him videos and images. 

His offending related to the sexual abuse of children in India over the internet between 2017 and 2022, while he was living in Nepal and working in a school there. 

Smith then moved back to the UK in July 2022 and got a job as deputy head at Thomas’s in Battersea, the £20,000 a year school Prince George and Princess Charlotte previously attended. 

News Shopper: Smith was deputy head at Thomas' in BatterseaSmith was deputy head at Thomas' in Battersea (Image: Street view)

In November 2022 National Crime Agency officers raided his home on Chesterfield Grove, East Dulwich. 

Officers found dark web sites and forums dedicated to child sexual abuse open on his computer. 

Smith would also give the young men advice on how to befriend and build trust with children, with the view of abusing them. 

Between 2007 and 2014 Smith spent time working in orphanages and NGOs in India. 

Investigators found evidence of potential offending by Smith while he was working in India and information has been shared with Indian police. 

He appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday (June 20) where he pleaded guilty to 17 charges relating to online sexual abuse of children. 

He had already pleaded guilty to five charges at a previous hearing. 

Over 120,000 indecent images of children were saved on Smith’s laptop, SD card and on his laptop. 

Prosecutor Louise Oakley requested that Judge Griffiths order a pre-sentence report to assess Smith’s dangerousness. 

News Shopper: Matthew Smith was warned to expect a lengthy prison sentenceMatthew Smith was warned to expect a lengthy prison sentence (Image: NCA)

Judge Griffiths adjourned sentencing until August but warned Smith: “You shouldn’t hold your hopes out for anything but a substantial period of imprisonment.” 

There is no evidence that Smith perpetrated any abuse against children in the UK or in Nepal. 

A spokesperson for the Thomas’ school said: “We have been shocked and appalled beyond measure by this matter and are grateful for the work of the police and courts in bringing this man to account. 

“Mr Smith’s employment at the school, which commenced in September 2022, was terminated with immediate effect when the school first learned of the charges against him in November. 

“While the National Crime Agency has confirmed that none of the matters under investigation related to the school or its pupils, these deplorable actions constitute an unforgivable breach of trust and our thoughts are with those who have been impacted or damaged by them. 

“As always, we remain absolutely committed to the ongoing safety and wellbeing of our pupils and our whole school community.”