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Blackmailer is jailed

PUBLISHED: 09:36 19 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:03 03 July 2010

A man tried to blackmail a married man he met through a gay social networking site, demanding £500 and threatening to tell his wife if he did not pay up, a court heard yesterday.

A man tried to blackmail a married man he met through a gay social networking site, demanding £500 and threatening to tell his wife if he did not pay up, a court heard yesterday.

David Beales, 41, arranged to meet the victim, a retired married man, after they met through the website.

But after Beales was “stood up” he sent the victim a threatening text in which he demanded “£500 for his cheek” of messing him about and saying he would otherwise tell his wife he had been using a gay website.

The text message added: “If you don't pay up I will see your wife and tell her all about me.”

Lori Tucker, prosecuting at Norwich Crown Court, said the victim decided to tell his wife what had happened and police were called in and Beales arrested.

Beales, of Trafalgar Road, Yarmouth, admitted blackmail.

Jailing him for two years, Recorder Peter Guest told him: “Blackmail is often described as one of the most serious offences in the criminal calendar.

“It was a mean, nasty and cruel act and in my judgment you chose to exploit a married man who carried with him a secret.”

He said he believed the victim thought Beales would carry out his threat to tell his wife, adding: “There can be no other reason for him to tell his wife of his secret and express a fear that you could come to his home.”

Jonathan Morgans, in mitigation, said Beales was genuinely full of remorse.

He sent the text in a “fit of pique” as a direct result of the victim not turning up at the meeting.

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