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Man pleads guilty to blackmail over sex video

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Man pleads guilty to blackmail over sex video

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A man from Totnes has pleaded guilty to blackmailing a local businessman over a sex video that was accidentally shared on Snapchat. 

Kieran Doyle, 22, of Ticklemore Street, Totnes, pleaded guilty to blackmail between 2 December and 5 December last year.

Plymouth Crown Court heard that Doyle threatened to attack the victim’s mother if he didn’t pay him £15,000 after a private film of the victim and his then partner was accidentally shared onto the social media platform. 

The businessman, who made his money early in his life, started receiving messages on Instagram from Doyle, but he never took them seriously.

This led Judge David Evans to tell Doyle that his victim “dealt with your rather pathetic attempts to play gangster with reason and cool wit" before contacting police. 

He handed Doyle a suspended prison sentence and said the threats to harm his victim’s mother were “despicable”.  

Katie Churcher, for the Crown Prosecution Service, is quoted as telling the court that the victim ”accidentally shared a video of himself and his then partner on Snapchat”, and then Doyle sent him an anonymous message on Instagram on December 3 saying: "I know what you have done, kid."

Although he was being ignored, Doyle later sent messages from the same account, making threats and demanding money from the victim. 

Judge Evans told the defendant that the maximum sentence for blackmail was 14 years, but added he had a "realistic prospect for rehabilitation" and posed little risk in the future.

Doyle was handed a 14-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with 140 hours of unpaid work and probation supervision for a year.

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