Preston £90,000 revenge porn blackmailer jailed

- BBC News

Preston £90,000 revenge porn blackmailer jailed

A man who threatened to share intimate pictures and videos of two women and blackmailed them has been jailed.

Zehshan Mahmood, from Preston, admitted two counts of blackmail and three counts of disclosing sexual photos or films with intent to cause distress.

Two victims sent the 30-year-old nearly £90,000 over three years to avoid the images being shared but he posted some of them online anyway, police said.

Mahmood was sentenced to seven years and three months.

During the trial at Preston Crown Court one victim told of how she had disclosed private pictures and videos to Mahmood in 2017.

In January 2018, he told her that he was in financial difficulty and pressured her to send him money.

Later he contacted her on Instagram under an alias and threatened her - demanding that she send him more money or he would share the private pictures and videos online, police said.

He also made threats against her family so she sent Mahmood around £20,000.

The second victim told the court she had disclosed to Mahmood an intimate sexual experience she had with a boyfriend.

Mahmood then claimed he had a video of the incident and demanded £7,000 from her or he would send the video to her family and friends.

In addition, Mahmood demanded that the victim send intimate pictures, videos and texts of a sexual nature.

If she did not do this, he threatened to increase the fee, the court heard.

The defendant told the victim that he needed money to stop the videos from being published and the blackmail was part of his involvement in an organised crime group.

Detectives said Mahmood later created more fake Instagram accounts, which he used to message the victim and convince her that his claim was real so that she would continue sending sexual content and money to him.

The victim sent Mahmood in excess of £66,000 over three years.

Despite the money handed over, Mahmood posted the videos he had received of the victim online and encouraged users to share it, police said.

Mahmood was arrested in February 2021 as part of a joint effort between Greater Manchester Police and Lancashire Police.

Det Con Luke Brundrett said he had "operated a web of lies and manipulated the victims to get exactly what he wanted, when he wanted", adding that the sentence was "much deserved".

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