Men jailed after blackmailing married Grindr user
Two men have been jailed after attempting to blackmail a married man they found on hook-up app Grindr.
Gloucester-based Daniel Edwards and Kristofer Wagner saved ‘incriminating’ messages they received from a man using the gay app – and threatened to forward them to his wife unless he paid them.
The victim handed over £1,500 to the pair, Swindon Crown Court heard.
Both men pleaded guilty to blackmail. The case was treated as a homophobic hate crime.
Edwards, 29, will face two years and 10 months behind bars, while 30-year-old Wagner was jailed for one year and eight months.
According to the Mirror, prosecutor Kate Lewis said:”This case shows that homophobia can exist even in a situation where it is least expected.
“The defendants understood the sensitivity of the victim’s situation and cruelly used this against him.
“There is no doubt that Daniel Edwards specifically targeted his victim, first by going on a gay dating website and secondly by determining whether the victim was married in order to blackmail him.
“The CPS according to its policy treated the case as a homophobic hate crime because Daniel Edwards threatened to ‘out’ the victim if he refused to pay the sum of money demanded.
“He knew the harm it would cause to the victim and his family.
“We considered the case as a homophobic hate crime because of the perception that the defendants were motivated by hostility towards the victim because of his sexuality.”
Miss Recorder Maria Lamb said: “I have read the victim personal statement… it details the misery and unhappiness that being subjected to this course of conduct left him feeling.
“No doubt it had implications for his wife as well.”
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