Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Blackmail accused in 'revenge porn' case is denied bail

By Alan Erwin

Published 24/12/2015

A train driver accused of tricking a woman into sending explicit photos to be posted on so-called
A train driver accused of tricking a woman into sending explicit photos to be posted on so-called "revenge porn" websites must remain in custody, a High Court judge ruled

A train driver accused of tricking a woman into sending explicit photos to be posted on so-called "revenge porn" websites must remain in custody, a High Court judge ruled.

Neil James Edwards was denied bail amid claims he had refused to disclose the password for encrypted files on a computer seized by investigating detectives.

The 46-year-old from Northamptonshire allegedly duped a young woman from Co Fermanagh by pretending to run a modelling agency. He is accused of dishonestly making a false representation and pursuing a course of harassment against her.

The alleged offences were committed on dates between September and November last year.

Prosecutors said the woman was contacted by someone claiming to be carrying out a beauty survey for a magazine.

The court heard she was later introduced via Facebook to a person purporting to represent a modelling agency.

During court proceedings, it was claimed that she was persuaded to send nearly 60 images, ranging from semi-nude to explicit.

According to the prosecution, she believed the photos were to be used to create a 3D body scan for a modelling portfolio.

Edwards, of Millennium Close in Kettering, is accused of using Facebook to notify her friends that images had been posted on revenge porn sites.

She was allegedly blackmailed in a bid to get her to send more photographs.

Officers from the PSNI's cyber crime unit traced the messages to Edwards and arrested him in England last week, the court heard.

Mobile phones seized as part of the probe were also said to have contained the details of other women.

Preliminary forensic examination of computer equipment has revealed a number of encrypted folders, one of which used the Co Fermanagh woman's surname. But Mr Justice Deeny was told Edwards had so far declined to supply police with the encryption key.

The accused denies carrying out any blackmail.

Police have contended that rather than any attempted financial gain, the alleged motives were sexual gratification and control over women chosen at random.

Refusing bail, Mr Justice Deeny cited the potential interference with an ongoing investigation based on the non-disclosure of encryption details.

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph