Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Ban on naming alleged blackmailer lifted

A man accused of blackmailing a married businessman for arranging a suspected hotel sex encounter can be identified, a High Court judge has ruled.

George McKinley had sought a Press ban over his alleged central role in demanding up to £12,000 in cash, claiming publicity could put him at risk. But Mr Justice Horner lifted temporary reporting restrictions after being told police have no evidence of any threat.

McKinley, who was said to use three different aliases, was also denied bail. The 33-year-old, originally from Scotland but with an address at Montgomery Court, Belfast, is charged with making demands for money with menaces.

His ex-partner, Margaret Bowman (34), of Riverside South, Castledawson, and another man, Philip McClelland, (24), from Sunderland Road, Belfast, are accused of the same offence.

The alleged victim, a Co Londonderry-based businessman referred to as Witness A, informed police last month that he was being blackmailed.

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