Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland prostitute accused of threatening to send video to client's fiancee

A prostitute allegedly threatened to send a secretly recorded sex video to a client's fiancee if he didn't hand over thousands of pounds, the High Court heard today.

Prosecutors claimed the man also received a screenshot of him standing naked as part of the extortion plot.

Details emerged as the 22-year-old woman accused of targeting him was refused bail.

Lorna White, of Market Street in Tandragee, Co Armagh, faces counts of blackmail, possessing criminal property and intimidation of a witness.

Her boyfriend is charged with similar offences over allegations they demanded money with menaces.

The injured party informed police earlier this year he was being blackmailed by a prostitute and another unknown man, the court heard.

According to the prosecution he had met her several times for sex, either in his car or at her flat, after they began contact in July 2017.

Crown lawyer Kate McKay claimed White and her partner then started requesting cash to stop his fiancee finding out he had been seeing a prostitute.

Following one meeting in March the man allegedly received a text message from the co-accused's phone.

"He was informed that the applicant had videoed them having sex, and if he did not pay £500 they would send the video to his fiancee," Mrs McKay said.

In a further phone call he was allegedly told that he owed £1,000.

It was claimed the pair drove him to an ATM machine to withdraw some of the money.

During a series of alleged text messages the figure was then said to have increased to £3,000.

"He was sent a screenshot of him standing naked in the applicant's bedroom," Mrs McKay contended.

"At this time the injured party was under financial duress. He went online to increase a loan he had to pay the applicant and co-accused, but instead decided to go to the police."

White and her boyfriend were arrested in May this year after phone checks were carried out.

Although they were released on police bail at the time, Mrs McKay claimed the injured party's fiancee then received messages from a Facebook profile asking her to get him to drop the charges.

Opposing bail, the prosecutor submitted there could be further alleged witness intimidation if White was freed again.

Defence counsel Justin Byrne argued she should be released from custody due to delays in the case.

Referring to the alleged offences, he said: "She accepts, although doesn't say at interview, that she was working as a prostitute.

"She met this man (and) her case is she was collecting money that was owed to her from him. He had been a regular client."

But despite White's sister offering a £1,000 cash surety, Madam Justice McBride ruled bail must be refused.

The judge pointed out: "I don't think the delay at present is sufficient to be a change of circumstances."

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