Police, Fire & Court

Altrincham councillor goes on trial accused of making and distributing indecent images of children

By David Prior at

A Conservative councillor and primary school teacher has gone on trial at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court charged with making and distributing almost 4,000 indecent images of children.

Matthew Sephton, 41, who was elected to represent Altrincham on Trafford Council in May 2014, was suspended by the Conservatives when he was charged with the offences last June.

He was also suspended from his teaching position at Westmorland Primary School in Brinnington after being detained by the National Crime Agency (NCA) in December 2016.

Sephton is charged with making 843 category A indecent images of children, 722 category B indecent images of children and 2,111 category C indecent images of children between November 6 and December 1.

He’s also charged with possession of six indecent images on an iPhone with a view to distribute, possession of 106 indecent images of a child and possession of extreme pornography.

According to the Manchester Evening News, prosecutor Huw Edwards told the court today that Facebook Messenger and Whats App conversations were also recovered between the defendant and another man that “quite clearly relate to a sexual interest in underage children, specifically boys”.

He also said that among the Google image searches found on Sephton’s computer internet history were “boy nude”, “naked teen boy” and “naked teen boy 13”.

Giving evidence this afternoon, Sephton said he was “absolutely dumbstruck” on the morning of his arrest and claimed that a man called Tom who he had met on Canal Street was responsible for the images and data on his devices.

Sephton denies all charges against him and the case continues tomorrow.