University of York graduate embroiled in child porn ring commits suicide

Dyde leaving the Toronto College courthouse last week, after being released on bail. Image credit: CTV

Dyde leaving the Toronto College courthouse last week, after being released on bail. Image credit: CTV

Former University of York graduate Richard Dyde, 47, has committed suicide after facing charges of making and possessing child pornography.

Dyde, who was married and lived in Canada, took his own life the day after being released on bail. He was one of 57 men arrested worldwide, suspected of being involved in an international child pornography ring.

The global police investigation, which took place over a year, involved undercover officers gaining access to a network of men who were allegedly dealing images and videos of child abuse, as well as creating the footage and photos themselves.

The Toronto Police service confirmed that 25 children had been rescued as a result of the ongoing investigation, known as Project Sanctuary.

Dyde studied psychology at the University of York in the 1990s, before moving to Toronto in 2001, and was part of a research team designing experiments for NASA to explore the effect of zero gravity on astronauts in space.

Speaking to the press, Stephanie Rainville, a fellow neuroscientist colleague from Ottawa, said that Dyde could not cope with the news that his charges were to be made public.

“He had a fairly high public profile. He was involved in experiments that were sent to the International Space Station,” he said. “I can’t imagine he could have, I guess, lived with it. It would have been devastating to his social circle.”

Others arrested in connection with the case include 25 Canadians, 26 Americans and six Europeans, facing an overall 218 charges.