Devon

Devon sex victim who blackmailed abuser must repay £1

A sex victim from Devon who blackmailed his abuser for £203,000 has been ordered to repay £1 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Mark Phillips, 42, from Meeth, was jailed for six years in August after he admitted extorting the money.

Exeter Crown Court was told that he had threatened to expose his abuser, a 70-year-old married man from Dartmoor, as a paedophile and 'a pariah'.

The abuser had before been interviewed by police and given a caution.

Judge Philip Wassall said that Phillips had realisable assets of just £1.

Jail warning

He warned Philipps at the confiscation hearing that if he did not pay the sum he would spend a day in jail.

The judge also advised him that the compensation sum might be reviewed if he found himself in receipt of additional funds.

"Should you in due course find yourself in a position of cash or capital then this may be revisited," he added.

At the trial at Exeter Crown Court last year, it was claimed that in the early to mid-1980s, "mutual" sexual activity took place between Phillips and the pensioner, who cannot be named because of a court order

The court was told that prior to the blackmail, the pensioner had given Phillips a business venture but that Phillips later made more than 30 threatening phone calls to him demanding money.

He threatened to go to the police if he did not pay and to expose him as a paedophile to the local community.

He demanded £150,000 and told him to sell his homes, which were worth collectively more than £1m.

The blackmail came to light when some of the abuser's friends overheard one of Phillips' telephone calls demanding his prized possession - a vintage car worth £15,000.

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