Diss paedophile who lured teen with ‘magic school’ promises is found guilty

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
6:00 AM

A Norfolk paedophile promised a 14-year-old boy that he could join a special magic school to lure him into meeting, a court heard.

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Michael Berkley-Matthews, 46, of Friars Meadow Weybred, Diss, had met the teenager on the internet, Norwich Crown Court was told.

He denied three charges of breaching a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO), meeting a child following sexual grooming and sexual activity with a child.

But a jury found him unanimously guilty of all three counts after around two hours of deliberation yesterday.

Judge Nicholas Coleman said Berkley-Matthews was due to be sentenced in six weeks, after reports were compiled into the dangers he may pose.

The court heard Berkley-Matthews had 53 previous convictions, including sexual offences, grooming, assaults, theft and driving while disqualified.

Earlier in the trial Claire Matthews, prosecuting, said that Berkley-Matthews knew the teenage victim had an interest in magic.

“It’s a lure,” she added. “It’s a topic in which he is interested and promises are made to get him into a magic group”.

She said Berkley-Matthews arranged to meet him in Diss and sexually assaulted him.

Berkley-Matthews has a number of previous convictions as a sex offender and has used a number of aliases changing his name about 25 times.

He is also on the sex offenders register and subject to a sexual offences prevention order, which meant he knew he should not be in contact with a young boy.

The boy had said that the sexual advance by Berkley-Matthews made him feel very insecure.

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