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Convicted Stansted sex offender Matthew Hyam was women's and girls' coach at Essex County Cricket Club

A Stansted man jailed on Monday (Sept 6) for voyeurism and child porn offences formerly ran a cricketing academy for talented teenage girls at Essex County Cricket Club.

Matthew Hyam, 48, of Sunnyside, was a part-time coach responsible for the East Region Girls' Academy's 2017-18 winter programme, which saw 22 of the top young players, aged 14 to 17, from Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire and Suffolk undergoing training sessions at Chelmsford's New Hall School and the county cricket ground and at Fenners Indoor Cricket School in Cambridge.

On Monday, he was sentenced to two years and four months in prison after being convicted of four counts of taking indecent images of children, five of voyeurism and three of making indecent images of children.

Matthew Hyam (50976742)
Matthew Hyam (50976742)

Police discovered more than 3,500 images and videos on devices seized from his home in June 2020 and found videos of nine girls and women taken by Hyam over a number of years. The victims were later identified and confirmed they were unaware they had been filmed.

On Tuesday morning (Sept 7), Essex County Cricket Club's safeguarding officer Phil Knappett said that correct procedures had been followed in employing Hyam on a part-time basis in 2017-18 and he was immediately suspended when the allegations came to light.

"He has never been a full-time coach, only in a part-time capacity, and is no longer involved with us. He was formally suspended as soon as we heard the allegations," said Mr Knappett.

The Essex County Cricket Club Ground in Chelmsford (50976996)
The Essex County Cricket Club Ground in Chelmsford (50976996)

"All the children involved were under 18 and so we have been supporting them. We have advised their parents and if they have any concerns we will deal with it.

"We have always taken safeguarding very seriously and since then we have taken on all the recommendations from the FA's Sheldon Report, which were added to our own existing safeguarding procedures."

A statement issued by The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said: "We are appalled by these offences. As soon as we became aware of these allegations, Matthew Hyam was immediately suspended from all cricketing activities overseen by the ECB. Now that the legal proceedings have finished we will progress our own disciplinary process."

Hyam's appointment as manager of the academy programme was highlighted on Cambridgeshire Cricket's website in 2017.

In July of that year, he was also quoted as "Essex’s high performance manager for women’s and girls’ cricket" in regards to England’s World Cup triumph and how he hoped it would result in more females turning to the sport.

Essex Police has confirmed that Hyam was a coach for Essex.

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