Man blackmailed women over intimate images which he threatened to put on line

The Northern Echo: Sentence on social media blackmailer adjourned until Friday, at Durham Crown Court Sentence on social media blackmailer adjourned until Friday, at Durham Crown Court

A MAN has admitted bribing women over intimate personal pictures of themselves which he threatened to spread across the internet.

Christopher Aiden Crossling was in communication with at least five young women, three 14-year-olds and two aged 19, via social media, in each case bringing the conversation on to sexual matters.

Durham Crown Court heard that he persuaded some to send him private images of themselves in only their underwear or topless.

But in one case he pestered one of the women for more intimate pictures and she refused.

Stephen Duffield, prosecuting, said Crossling, claiming to be called ‘Sean’, “became insistent” and when the woman refused he threatened to put the previous images on the internet.

When the woman pleaded with him not to carry out his threat, Crossling asked her for £100 otherwise he could, “ruin her life”.

He told her to send him a gift card for an online retailer to his own address, which she complied with, said Mr Duffield.

The court heard another of his victims paid him £250 to £300 in gift vouchers to avoid him uploading the private images of herself onto the internet.

During the exchanges he used other pseudonyms Adam and Aaron Jones, as well as Bob the Builder.

Crossling, 21, of Ghyllfield Road, Framwellgate Moor, Durham, previously admitted a total of eight charges, including blackmail, inciting the victims to engage in sexual activity and making indecent photographs of a child.

Judge Christopher Prince said he would not proceed to sentence Crossling as he wanted to know if the females involved were happy for their victim impact statements to be read out in court, or merely read by himself, in order to comply with the guidelines of the recently-introduced Victims’ Charter.

He adjourned the hearing and remanded Crossling back to custody to return for sentence on Friday, when a Sexual Offences Prevention Order will be imposed to restrict his future internet/social media activities.

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