'Arrogant' man bullied woman into sending intimate photos

Ipswich Crown Court

Davies appeared at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

An “arrogant and bullying” man extorted intimate photos from a “terrified” woman before threatening to distribute the images.

Owen Davies appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday to face sentence for sending malicious WhatsApp messages last February.

Under a pseudonym, the 25-year-old published a disparaging post about the woman on her employer’s Facebook page – agreeing only to remove it in return for explicit images and videos.

Davies, of Dales Road, Ipswich, had denied blackmail but admitted sending an electronic communication with intent to cause distress or anxiety.

Prosecutor Lynne Shirley said having blocked his accounts on social media, Davies’ victim received notification of being tagged in post on her employer’s Facebook page.

Suspecting Davies, she unblocked and called him on WhatsApp, pleading for the comment to be removed.

Miss Shirley said: “The defendant said the only way would be if she sent intimate photographs to him.

“She feared she would lose her job if the post was not taken down.”

After eventually removing the post, Davies threatened to send the explicit images to other people unless his victim met for sex.

She finally called police when Davies claimed he was going to her address.

Miss Shirley said the victim had been left “absolutely terrified” by what Davies might do.

Ed Renvoize, mitigating, said Davies understood his behaviour was “absolutely horrendous”.

He said Davies had just one, unrelated criminal conviction on his record – committed at a time when he was drinking too much and behaving out of the ordinary.

“He is not going to behave in this way again. This has been a salutary lesson for him,” added Mr Renvoize.

Judge Rupert Overbury said Davies had clearly intended to damage the victim’s reputation by posting the Facebook message, adding: “Your behaviour was arrogant, bullying, threatening, and designed to cause as much distress and anxiety as you could.”

He sentenced Davies to eight months’ custody, suspended for two years, with 240 hours of unpaid work and up to 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was handed a two-year restraining order and told to pay £300 in compensation to his victim.

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