Unmasked | 

Convicted child porn distributor Martin Stapleton is well-known ‘Food Critic’ on TikTok

Stapleton never allows himself to be seen during the video reviews on the site

Martin Stapleton spoke to the Sunday World during the summer before he was sacked from his job and set up his food critic account on TikTok

Patrick O'ConnellSunday World

CONVICTED child porn distributor Martin Stapleton can today be unmasked as the individual behind a well-known ‘Food Critic’ account on social media platform TikTok.

The pint-sized pervert has been duping unsuspecting restaurant owners into stumping up free food by offering them online reviews.

And although Stapleton embellishes his food critic credentials by claiming to be a member of the ‘food tasting panel of Ireland’, the Sunday World was unable to find any evidence of the existence of such a panel.

Stapleton never allows himself to be seen during the video reviews on the site.

But we confirmed his identity through voice comparison and by having staff in one of the restaurants he reviewed look at pictures we obtained of the pervert previously.

One of the eateries reviewed by Stapleton – who was previously fired by Carroll’s Irish Gift Shops after we informed them of his sickening crimes – is Sweet O’Clock on Dublin’s Liffey Street.

In a rambling review, Stapleton, who visited the premises on September 28, told his 563 followers that he is thinking about getting “one of those bubble waffles to see what all the bubbling is about.”

Stapleton then has the eatery assistant smother a ‘bubble waffle’ in white chocolate sauce, saying: ‘Guys, you know I’m a big fan of white chocolate so if I see white chocolate I go crazy.’

Then, somewhat chillingly given his past, Stapleton spots some over-sized lollipops on the eatery counter and says: “There’s big lollipops for the kids as well. I might get a lollipop as well. I’m a big child as well.”

After being given his food, Stapleton offers his first piece of criticism, saying: “I’m going to have to go to the dentist after this.”

The Sunday World found Stapleton working in Carroll’s Irish Gifts in Temple Bar and he told us he hadn’t informed his employers about his conviction for child porn

He then follows this up, after scoffing half the waffle, by offering the keen insight: “It’s nice if you have a sweet tooth, if you have a sweet tooth then definitely come in here.” He then awards the waffle a six out of ten rating.

When we visited Sweet O’Clock on Thursday afternoon, the employee who served Stapleton identified him immediately when shown pictures taken by this newspaper previously.

“It’s definitely him,” he said.

“I’m shocked … I had no idea.

“What do I say if he comes back?”

Asked if Stapleton had paid for his food, the employee said he had, before adding that he had seen the review later on the well-known TikTok page.

“He was acting really weird,” the employee added.

Another restaurant visited by Stapleton where he blagged a free dessert was Mykonos Taverna on Dame Street.

After being given ‘a complimentary dessert by staff, Stapleton says it was ‘a bit rich for me and very high in texture.’

He then awards his free dessert a ‘4.’

Stapleton at Arbour Hill Prison following his release

Stapleton was released from prison in April 2021 after serving 18 months for distributing a video of a young girl being raped. The video showed a female child being orally raped by an adult man.

The 34-year-old had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to distributing child pornography and possessing child pornography at his address on July 17, 2014 and July 1, 2015 respectively.

Garda Alan Young told John Berry BL, prosecuting, that officers received information on June 30, 2015, from police on Merseyside that someone at Stapleton’s address had sent indecent images via Skype to a person who had been arrested in the United Kingdom.

Gardai searched the house the following day and seized a number of electronic devices. Some 119 images and 18 videos of child pornography were discovered across all of these devices.

Detective Garda Donagh Mannix told Mr Berry that he was able to recover details of conversations and files shared by the accused on Skype.

Detective Garda Mannix said that on three separate occasions the accused sent a video of child pornography to three different locations.

He said the video showed a female child being orally raped by an adult man.

In an interview with gardai, Stapleton admitted to possessing and distributing the material, but denied that he had ever touched a child inappropriately.

He has no previous convictions and has not come to garda attention since.

Stapleton was working in one of Dublin’s most famous tourist gift shops, Carrolls Irish Gifts, until late July of this year.

He was sacked after we made his bosses aware of his crimes.

When we confronted the pervert after he helped close up the company’s outlet in Dublin’s Temple Bar, he defended his decision not to make his employers aware of his conviction.

“If they had asked, I’d have been open and let them make the decision from there, but they never asked me,” he said.

Earlier this year, Stapleton was forced to shut down a GoFundMe page seeking funds to help him get accommodation in Dublin after details of his past were shared online.

He managed to raise €1,130 before people identified him and began linking his appeal to an article the Sunday World published in May last year following his release from Arbour Hill prison.

After the article was shared among Stapleton’s followers, he denied that he would have moved into a property where children are living.

“I would have not went or taking any homes with kids [sic],” he wrote. “I no what I can do and can’t do under the law [sic].”

He apologised for not being honest with his followers. “Everyone, I am truly sorry of not been 100 per cent honest with people about my past,” he wrote.


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