Matthew Hardy

Can I Tell You a Secret? What Netflix’s documentary leaves out about Matthew Hardy

It took police 11 years to put him in jail

Netflix’s new true-crime documentary Can I Tell You a Secret? tells the terrifying true story of the women who were relentlessly harassed by the UK’s most prolific serial cyber stalker: Matthew Hardy.

The two-part documentary hears from a small number of Matthew’s hundreds of targets who were sent vile and bullying messages by fake profiles, which ruined their relationships and left them fearful for their lives.

Matthew’s horrifying crimes, which started with him targeting girls at his school when he was still a child, continued for a decade and it was only in January 2022 he was sentenced to nine years in jail.

But Netflix’s Can I Tell You a Secret? only portrays a small portion of the fear and hurt Matthew caused with his cyber stalking crimes. So, here’s everything you need to know, which Can I Tell You a Secret left out:

Matthew stalked 25 girls from one school in Cheshire when he was still a teenager

When Matthew was still in secondary school, it was reported he stalked 25 girls from one school in Cheshire, where he started spreading rumours about them cheating on their boyfriends.

He was especially cruel to one victim, who said he’d told her her later mother had been having an affair and threatened to tell her dad. She reported Matthew to the police, however she was told they couldn’t help her because the harassment and abuse was all online.

He was convicted with hacking and harassing in 2013 but didn’t face any jail time

Over a decade ago, Matthew was convicted for hacking and harassing a victim called Amy Bailey. However, this didn’t result in any jail time – he was instead given a suspended sentence and a restraining order.

Yet, Matthew continued to harass Amy – who reported him several times in 2014, 2015 and 2017. Despite violating his restraining order, Matthew was not sent to jail.

He was arrested for cyber stalking in 2016 but the CPS decided not to move forward with the case

Amidst Amy’s reports about Matthew breaking his restraining order, he was also arrested for cyber stalking another woman called Gina Martin. Gina would wake up for tonnes of new messages every day as her friends and family told her there were accounts impersonating her.

Matthew was arrested in 2016 and a case was made against him, however the Crown Prosecution Service said it was too weak and decided not to move forward with proceedings.

Matthew was arrested 10 times in 10 years and had been reported to the police more than 100 times

Over a decade, Matthew was arrested 10 times his harassment and cyber stalking of women. One police force alone was contacted over 100 times about Matthews behaviour by 62 different victims. Still, he did not go to jail until 2022.

He had his sentence reduced after an appeal in October 2022

After Matthew had been sentenced to nine years in October 2022, his sentence was reduced for being “too severe”.

Matthew’s lawyers argued he couldn’t full understand his behaviour and the harm he was causing because of his Asperger’s and autism. However, Justice McGowan said the original judge had already taken Hardy’s neurodivergence into account at the first sentencing.  Still, Matthews sentence was reduced and he’s currently serving time in a category B prison.

Matthew’s mother says he plans to stay off of social media once he’s released

When Matthew’s mum, Donna Hardy, went on The Guardian’s Can I Tell You a Secret? podcast in September 2022, she said he plans on staying off of social media when he’s eventually released from prison.

“He has said to me, ‘I don’t want anything to do with social media ever again,'” she revealed. “Matthew knows he’s lost a lot, and I’ll be with him every step of the way.”

Can I Tell You a Secret? is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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Featured image credit via Netflix