A top teacher at a primary school that educated Prince George and Princess Charlotte has admitted paying Indian teenagers thousands of pounds in exchange for sexually explicit images of children.
Matthew Smith, 34, from East Dulwich, London, pleaded guilty today to a further 18 counts of child sexual abuse, including paying teenagers in India more than £65,000 to force them to abuse children.
The former deputy headteacher at Thomas’s Prep School, in Battersea High Street, south west London, was sacked from the £20,000-a-year prep school that taught Prince George and Princess Charlotte after the allegations first surfaced last November.
The Oxford University graduate previously worked in orphanages and NGOs across India from 2007-2014 before taking a job as an assistant headmaster at a British school in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu from July 2017 and July 2022.
Smith has now pleaded guilty to a total of 22 charges after investigators raided his London home last November to find him asking a teenager in India to send sexual images of a young child, police said.
Matthew Smith, 34, (pictured) pleaded guilty to 18 counts of child sex abuse at Southwark Crown Court today.
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said the teacher’s computer was open to dark web sites and forums dedicated to child sexual abuse.
Detectives later analyzed chat logs and bank transactions to reveal that Smith had paid the same teenager and another living in India, a total of £65,398 over a five-year period for child abuse.
Prior to working in schools in Nepal, Smith spent time working in orphanages and NGOs across India from 2007 to 2014.
He then returned to the UK last July and started work at Thomas Prep in September, where he was a deputy headteacher and head of pastoral care, before being dismissed from the school two months later after police charged him.
Chat logs show that Smith would order youths to perform sexual acts on boys and send them images and videos that he wanted to reenact.
The prep school teacher advised a teenager to befriend the children and build their trust to abuse them, police said.
The NCA said it first became aware of the potential for Smith’s offending while working in India, but there was no evidence he had committed abuse against children based in Nepal or the UK.
After raiding Smith’s south-east London home, officers found his laptop, an SD card and more than 120,000 indecent images of children stored on his phone.
Prosecutors charged him with a total of 22 felonies, including encouraging the rape of a child under 13, engaging in sexual activity with a child under 13 and arranging for the sexual abuse of a child.
He pleaded guilty to 17 counts at Southwark Crown Court today and previously admitted five counts at a hearing in November.
Matthew Smith previously worked as deputy headteacher at Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s £20,000-a-year Thomas’ Prep School, Battersea, south west London (pictured)
National Crime Agency senior officer Helen Dore said: ‘Matthew Smith was a high-risk individual and we moved quickly to trace, arrest and remand him so he could no longer pose a threat to children.
‘Ultimately, we were able to prove that he was a hardened criminal who manipulated youths into sexually abusing children on his behalf, giving them detailed instructions and financial rewards.
‘While managing his offending, Smith worked at a school in Nepal, then became a deputy head teacher and head of pastoral care in the UK, so his offending is a profound betrayal of the trust placed in him.’
No offense was involved in his £20,000-a-year job at Thomas’ primary school, which Prince George and Princess Charlotte attended until the end of the last academic year.
Both royal children are now at Lambbrook School, near Ascot, Berkshire, and will be leaving when Smith starts work in September.
Claire Brinton, specialist prosecutor in the CPS’ organized child sexual abuse unit, described Smith’s crimes as ‘particularly disturbing’ because she was a primary school teacher.
He said after the hearing today: ‘Matthew Smith’s offenses are particularly disturbing as a primary school teacher entrusted with the care and protection of children.
‘Thousands of images and videos were recovered from his device showing a horrific catalog of child sexual abuse.
‘Smith offered to pay individuals for pornographic images to satisfy his own sexual desires, leading to horrific abuse of young children in India.
‘This conviction sends a clear message that the CPS, working with NCA and international partners, will work to bring to justice those who sexually abuse and exploit children, wherever this abuse occurs.’
Oxford University graduate Matthew Smith (pictured) previously worked for NGOs and orphanages in India and at a British school in Nepal.
Prior to her role at Thomas, Smith was assistant headteacher for five years at the British School in Kathmandu, Nepal.
He also teaches at St Paul’s School in London, which charges £44,000 a year, and holds degrees from both Oxford and Cambridge universities.
A spokesman for Thomas’ school said: ‘We are shocked and appalled beyond measure by this matter and are grateful for the work of the police and the courts in holding this man to account.
‘Mr Smith’s employment at the school, which started in September 2022, was immediately terminated when the school first learned of the allegations against him in November.
‘While the National Crime Agency has confirmed that no matter relating to the school or its pupils is under investigation, these sad actions constitute an inexcusable breach of trust and our thoughts are with those affected or harmed by them.
‘As always, we are fully committed to the ongoing safety and well-being of our students and our entire school community.’
Smith will be sentenced in the same court next month.
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