Gloucestershire

Couple jailed over Grindr blackmail

A couple have been jailed for blackmailing a married man they met on a gay dating app, in what prosecutors say was a homophobic hate crime.

Daniel Edwards and Kristofer Wagner, from Gloucester, exchanged messages and pictures with the man on Grindr, which they threatened to forward to his wife.

Swindon Crown Court heard the victim handed over £1,500 to the men.

Edwards, 29, was jailed for two years and 10 months, and Wagner, 30, for one year and eight months.

Both men admitted blackmail.

Kate Lewis, senior crown prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service in Wessex, 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."

'Misery and unhappiness'

She added: "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."

Recorder Maria Lamb, who sentenced the pair, said: "I have read the victim's 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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