A man who blackmailed his former girlfriend by threatening to reveal intimate photos of her unless she gave him money, has been jailed for three years.
The man, who had the pictures on his mobile phone, told his ex she should go to pay day loan companies to get the money.
He wanted to clear his gambling debts and said if she didn’t come up with the cash, he would ‘post’ the photos on Facebook so that her family saw them.
For three weeks the young woman, desperate to stop him going ahead with his threats, got the money from pay day loan companies and borrowed from her sister and friends
She finally told her sister what had been going on after breaking down in tears.
At Luton Crown Court when the 23 year old Bedford man appeared for sentence, Judge Stuart Bridge told him he had subjected his ex to “mental torture”
He told the man: “She explained she couldn’t sleep, she couldn’t eat and she stayed upstairs in her bedroom. She didn’t speak to her family and told them she didn’t feel well.
“You suggested she could find the money by taking out pay day loans and over the course of the next three weeks she entered into a number of agreements with pay day loan companies. She also sought amounts from her friends and relatives.”
He added:“It was a mean and calculated act of revenge.”
The man pleaded guilty to two counts of blackmailing his ex-girlfriend and her sister.
Judge Bridge made an order that nothing should be published that would identify the women or her sister.
In the space of three weeks in 2013 the man’s former girlfriend gave him just under £2,500 after taking out loans from various pay day loan companies, friends and relatives.But, because of the high rates of interest charged by the loan companies, she found herself in debt to the tune of £3,750.
The court heard that when the victim’s sister found out what had been going on, she contacted the defendant saying “we want the money back.”
But, said Gavin Pottinger prosecuting, the man then told her she would have to pay him £5,000 to get rid of the photos.
Eventually he said he would take off the £3,750 and then demanded £1,250.
The victim told the court she would have been embarrassed had the pictures been made public.
“He said he would Facebook my sister and tell her things she wouldn’t want to hear about her sister – rude things,” she told the court
She said the first payment she got to her ex was for £500.
From then on she said he texted and contacted her almost daily to make fresh demands for money.
“He was threatening me, saying, ‘If you don’t get the money, you know what will happen.’ He used to ring me every day.”
On one day she had to make two payments and he even set time limits for her to get the money to him.
She told the court about the effect it all had on her, saying, “I couldn’t sleep and I stopped eating. I didn’t speak to my family. My mum questioned me and I just said I wasn’t feeling well.”