Netflix’s latest foray into the true crime genre Can I Tell You A Secret? explores the crimes of Matthew Hardy.


Based on a true crime podcast of the same name, Can I Tell You A Secret? explores how Hardy targeted multiple women online for over a decade, as well as following the pursuit to bring him to justice.

The two-part series is told through personal interviews with some of those who had been targeted by Hardy, as well as recreated dramatisations of his actions.

The series was released on Netflix on Wednesday 21st February and has received floods of positive reviews since then.

Read on for a breakdown of where Matthew Hardy is now and his crimes.

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Where is Matthew Hardy now?

Hardy is currently imprisoned in a Category B prison.

According to The Guardian podcast Can I Tell You a Secret?, he's in a wing dedicated to inmates at higher risk of being attacked by other inmates.

On Wednesday 26th January 2022, Hardy was sentenced to nine years in prison and was told he would serve a minimum of four and a half years behind bars.

Hardy had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of stalking with intent to cause alarm or distress, two counts of stalking without intent to cause alarm and breaching a restraining order from 2013, when he was banned from using false details on social media sites.

In October 2022, a court of appeal reduced Hardy's sentence to eight years after three judges agreed the starting sentence was too high.

Hardy's lawyer told the court the original sentence was too high as it failed to acknowledge his inability to understand the impact of his actions as well as his mental disorders.

One of three judges, Mrs Justice McGowan, said (as per The Guardian): "The appellant's medical condition – he suffered from Asperger's and autism – was clear and well documented. It led to him suffering from a lack of empathy, such that he was not always able to understand the impact that his behaviour would have on others.

"The learned judge rightly reduced the term that he had in mind by 25 per cent to allow for that mental disorder."

What did Matthew Hardy do? Cyberstalking crimes explained

Matthew Hardy's crimes date back to 2006 when he was in secondary school.

Following the launch of Facebook, Hardy was said to have stalked his female classmates and others from schools nearby. "A random person would add me on Facebook and start messaging me," one of his first victims told The Guardian.

"They'd say my boyfriend was cheating on me and they just wanted to let me know."

She said people eventually caught on to what he was doing, adding: "We all banded together and found out it was Hardy. Every time he messaged us, we'd say, 'You're Matthew Hardy, go away.'"

As the years went on, Hardy stalked more women and in 2011 he pleaded guilty to hacking and harassing a former classmate and received a restraining order, a suspended prison sentence and 250 hours of community service, but this did not deter him as he later began stalking another woman in 2013.

Chester Crown Court heard how Hardy created fake profiles on social media in order to befriend men and women. He would do this by sometimes posing as friends and family members in a bid to collect information about them.

Over the years, despite numerous police cautions, Hardy began targeting women with large social media followings, which is explored in the documentary.

Abby sat down on a sofa with her legs crossed and hands in each other. She is wearing a white dress and blue blazer
Abby Furness. Netflix

Abby Furness, who features in the documentary, says she was stalked by Hardy. She said that he had sent intimate photos of her to her boss, and ruined her relationship by falsely telling her boyfriend she had cheated on him.

After gaining various women's trust, Hardy would send them messages he knew were false in order to cause "rifts" amongst their family.

His messages would often begin with: "Can I tell you a secret?" and would use "hun" and "chick" in order to gain trust.

It was PC Kevin Anderson who was assigned to the case and trawled through the police systems to find over 100 logs had been made in regards to Hardy.

As depicted in the documentary, Anderson initially arrested Hardy who had denied any wrongdoing, with the CPS eventually saying there was not enough evidence to charge him.

Anderson continued his pursuit for justice and his case strengthened after a fake account of Hardy’s accidentally posted a video which showed Hardy’s face at the very beginning.

Can I Tell You a Secret is available to watch on Netflix now. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Looking for something else to watch? Check out more of our Documentaries coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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