An Australian man who attempted to blackmail a gay man has been heavily fined.

Justin Williams saw the man enter a public toilet block with two other men in Melton, whilst he was sitting in his car reading a newspaper in November, reports HeraldSun.com.

Williams, 39, wrote down a telephone number painted on the side of a van belonging to one of the men.

He then waited until the man left the toilet block, before telephoning him.

Williams told the man he had photographs of him and demanded $1,500.

He threatened to ’cause problems’ to the man if he did not deliver the money to Bacchus Marsh park within 40 minutes.

The victim promptly drove to a police station and reported the blackmail attempt.

Whilst he was at the police station, Williams telephoned him again, claiming he would ‘flog’ his victim if he did not hand over the money.

Williams’ lawyer Maitland Lincoln told the courts that his client had wanted to protect any children who may have walked into the toilets.

In an earlier police interview, Williams had said he had attempted extortion because he was disturbed by what he had seen and wanted to teach the ‘perverts’ a lesson.

Williams pleaded guilty in court yesterday. The judge, Geoffe Chettle, fined him $5,000 (£2,320).