Man named in child porn probe commits suicide

A RESPECTED writer and RAF veteran has committed suicide after he was accused of being involved in a global child pornography ring.

British ex-pat Richard Dyde, who grew up in York, died a day after being released on bail in Canada, where he had been living since 2001.

He leapt to his death from a bridge near his home in Toronto, and his body was found in a ravine after passing motorists alerted the emergency services.

The 47-year-old was facing charges of making, possessing and making available child pornography after he was detained in connection with a worldwide police investigation.

Mr Dyde was one of 57 men arrested around the globe as part of Project Sanctuary – a year-long inquiry involving law enforcement agencies in Canada, the USA and Europe investigating a child pornography network.

A colleague in Canada is reported to have said Mr Dyde could not bear to live with the news that his charges had been made public, which would "probably have been too much for him to bear".

It is understood that Dyde was charged on December 1 with making child pornography available, possession of child pornography and making child pornography.

He took his life on December 9 after he had been released on bail the previous day, when the names of those charged were made public by police in Toronto.

Retired teacher Darrell Buttery taught Mr Dyde at Nunthorpe School in York during the 1970s, and stayed in contact with his ex-pupil throughout the intervening years.

Mr Buttery, who is the president of the York Civic Trust, said: "It's desperately sad news. He was a hugely talented pupil who was outstanding in his year.

"He was an immensely popular boy and had a great sense of fun. He was such a lovely guy, there was absolutely never any indication of any of this.

"I last saw him when he came over last year, following the publication of his book."

Mr Dyde published a book last year under the nom de plume of Richard Dee about George Cayley, the famous Victorian aeronautical engineer known as the father of aviation.

Mr Dyde also served in the RAF and came from a family of fliers, with his brother and father also serving in the air force.

After his service in the RAF, he got a job as systems analyst for the British Library.

It is believed Mr Dyde had recently been conducting research as part of a team designing experiments to explore the impact of zero gravity on astronauts in space.

Mr Dyde studied for a degree in psychology at York University and is also understood to have held a PhD in cognitive science.

Officials from the Toronto Police Service confirmed yesterday that 25 children had been rescued as a result of the worldwide investigation.

Three of the youngsters were rescued in Europe, while another 10 were picked up in the USA and a further 12 in Canada.

Of the 57 men arrested, six are in Europe.

A police spokesman confirmed that undercover officers had spent a year infiltrating a worldwide network of suspected paedophiles who were allegedly trading sexual abuse images and videos.

Investigators are also said to have discovered evidence of harrowing cases in which images were being taken of the alleged abuse of children.

The police spokesman added: "This operation is an excellent example of what can be accomplished through co-operative police work between the US and Canada."