Matthew Hardy: How Did Kevin Anderson Arrest The Stalker? Where Is Matthew Now?


Can I Tell You a Secret?, the 2024 Netflix 2-part documentary series, makes us privy to a modern-day crime where the accused made the lives of innumerable girls a living hell by stalking them on social media and harassing them. Matthew Hardy crossed all boundaries, and the girls felt threatened and extremely paranoid because of his actions. So, let’s find out who Matthew Hardy was, what he was accused of, and how he got caught.

When did Matthew Hardy go to college?

Abby, Lia, and Zoe gave their testimonies in Can I Tell You a Secret? and showed us the extent to which Matthew Hardy went to make the lives of these young ladies a living hell. Matthew was suffering from autism spectrum disorder, and he got to know about it quite late in his life. Because of his lack of confidence, he wasn’t able to socialize or mingle with people that much. He stayed mostly by himself, though that was not out of choice. He had suppressed his feelings for years, and with the advent of social media, he found a way to disguise himself and give it back to the world that was never kind to him. Hardy started stalking people, and he created rifts between them and their loved ones. Hardy felt powerful as he could literally play with the lives of the people, and he got a lot of sadistic pleasure when he saw them getting anxious or stressed out. Hardy’s colleagues got to know that he was the stalker who was messing around every day, and they reported the matter.

An article also got printed in a leading newspaper, and after Hardy disappeared, he never troubled his colleagues again. But stalking was addictive for him, and he just couldn’t give it up, and again, he started troubling a different set of people. Hardy followed the girls at times, sent messages to them from fake accounts, and threatened them in some way. He then contacted other people on that person’s friend list and spread all kinds of rumors about them. He damaged their reputation, and the girls had no clue how to deal with him. Lia had gotten a photoshoot done in the past, and Matthew somehow came to know about it. He talked to the photographer, pretending to be Lia, and then later sent the photos to people who knew her personally. Lia tried going to Ibiza because she didn’t know any other way to deal with the situation, but Matthew messaged her, saying that he knew where she was going. Matthew told the girls that there was no point in going to the police as they wouldn’t help them, and he was right to a certain extent. 

How did Matthew get caught? 

The problem that the girls encountered was that whenever they went to the police, they were always asked if they felt their lives were under imminent threat. The girls didn’t have any evidence to prove the fact that they were in imminent danger, and so the police, for the longest time, didn’t take any sort of action. Maybe there was no imminent threat, but Matthew had gone to bizarre lengths, and the girls did feel like their lives were in danger. They didn’t know what he was planning next or how he was getting to know about their movements, and now they realized that they couldn’t even go to the law enforcement authorities.

In Can I Tell You a Secret?, we got to know that the police department gave out a statement and said that they had followed the due process of law and done everything that they could in that situation. But, as a matter of fact, they didn’t help the cause of the girls when they could have easily pursued the matter and at least tried to find some incriminating evidence that would have made Matthew stop. Kevin Anderson from Cheshire police took Matthew into custody after one of the girls told him about what he was up to, but he was not able to find any evidence that could make him arrest the guy. Matthew stated during the interrogation that he was an easy target because of his past. He told the officers that he was involved in a similar kind of situation back in the day, and his image was tarnished by the newspaper article that was published after that. Kevin had no option but to release him, and for a moment, he also felt like somebody else was probably using Mathew’s name to stalk the girls. But as soon as Matthew was released, he bought a new phone, and he once again started stalking and messaging the girls. Matthew was using a fake account, and by mistake, he went live on the social media app. A woman named Sabrina, who knew Matthew, realized what he was up to, and she tried talking him out of it. When Matthew denied any sort of involvement, Sabrina told the police about him. Kevin knew that he finally had evidence to arrest and take the man into legal custody. Additionally, Kevin got his hands on the mobile downloads that Matthew had done, and after he went through it he realized that he had struck gold. Matthew Hardy was finally taken into custody, and it was only because of Kevin’s persistence that it happened. 

Where is Matthew Hardy now? 

The lives of the girls were never the same again after what they went through. They really hoped that Matthew was put behind bars, though they knew that the odds were not in his favor. 

Generally, in these cases, the court refrains from awarding any kind of sentence to the perpetrators, and the victims, in this case, didn’t want that to happen. Matthew pleaded guilty, but he took the defense that he was not of sound mind to understand the nature of his actions since he was suffering from autism spectrum disorder. The girls knew that it was a blatant lie, as when he talked to them, he knew what he was doing, and he derived a great deal of pleasure from it. Finally, the trial happened, and the court sentenced Matthew Hardy to nine years on January 26, 2022. As of now, Matthew is in prison, and upon appeal, his sentence was reduced by one year. 

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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