Blackmailer jailed over ‘cruel and devious’ sextortion plot
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A man who obtained explicit images of three people before demanding money has been jailed for blackmail.
Dwayne Rooney threatened to leak the sensitive content on social media unless he was paid £200.
Nottingham Crown Court heard he discovered a number of videos and images after gaining access to a mobile phone belonging to one of the victims.
The 41-year-old then messaged them stating he was going to share the material online. When they begged him not to post anything, he demanded £200 – insisting that was “cheap”.
The victims refused to pay and so Rooney leaked the explicit material on Snapchat, Facebook and WhatsApp. He then sent an image of a gun to one of the victims, which they interpreted as a threat.
The matter was reported to police later that day, 2 July 2023, and officers made inquiries to track down Rooney.
They arrested him 10 days later after stopping his car in Rainworth.
Rooney, of Cobden Street, Lenton, refused to answer questions in his police interview but screenshots of the messages he exchanged with his victims led to charges being authorised.
He went on to plead guilty to blackmail, three counts of disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress and sending a communication conveying a threatening message.
He was jailed for two years and nine months after appearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday (24 October). Rooney was also made subject of a restraining order that prohibits him from contacting the three victims and he must also pay a £228 court surcharge.
Following the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Laura McCullough, of Nottinghamshire Police's public protection team, said:
“This kind of offending is utterly reprehensible and will always be thoroughly investigated by officers.
“Rooney’s actions were cruel and devious and I hope this sentencing provides some comfort to his victims.
“Sharing or threatening to share images of this nature for whatever reason is an appalling breach of a person’s privacy. To do so in an attempt to extort money is even worse.
“I hope this case serves as an example to others about the potential consequences of taking similar actions; you may very well end up in court or even in jail as a result.”