Judge Jamie Tabor QC (pictured) warned that exchanging naked pictures on social media has become a ‘hallmark of our society’ as he sentenced a man for sending revenge porn
A judge warned that exchanging naked pictures on social media has become a ‘hallmark of our society’ as he sentenced a man for sending revenge porn.
Judge Jamie Tabor QC made the remarks as he jailed Daniel Stainton, 26, for five years and three months for blackmailing three women who had sent him naked pictures of themselves.
He told Gloucester Crown Court: ‘It is a hallmark of our society now that young women and sometimes young men – and sometimes mature people – exchange such photographs. All well and good.
‘But what people do not appear to appreciate is that these images are not gone in a moment – they can hang around, as we can see in this case, for years.
‘There came a time in your life when you were hard up for money and decided to embark on this campaign of blackmail. The effect on the women was dramatic and horrible’.
The three women, who Stainton met on social media, were blackmailed for 12 weeks between December 2016 and February this year.
One paid the 26-year-old, from Cheltenham, almost £1,000 not to go public with the intimate pictures of herself.
Stainton, who pleaded guilty to disclosing a private sexual photograph with intent to cause distress, left his victims feeling ‘degraded, humiliated and traumatised’, prosecutor Richard Posner said.
‘His actions showed evidence of planning by the retention of these intimate images and a degree of targeting. The impact of his crimes on his victims is significant,’ he said.
‘He seems to have been motivated by greed, which demonstrates a high level of deviancy and manipulation.’
Victim A, a 26-year-old shop worker from Cheltenham, met Stainton in 2012 and thought he was a ‘nice guy, a shoulder to cry on’ when her marriage broke down, Mr Posner said.
The woman sent Stainton two naked photos of herself on WhatsApp in 2013, but when she left her husband for the defendant, he sent her husband a text saying she had been cheating on him.
Mr Posner said: ‘She says this broke her heart and she lost all contact with the defendant.’
Judge Jamie Tabor QC made the remarks as he jailed Daniel Stainton, 26, for five years and three months for blackmailing three women who had sent him naked pictures of themselves
In 2016 he requested to follow her on Instagram, using a different name, and she accepted.
Stainton then sent her four photographs of women and one of herself.
The prosecutor said: ‘When she contacted the defendant he claimed the message was nothing to do with him and that he had lost the phone with her pictures on it.
‘On 31st December last year he contacted her from yet another Instagram account, threatening that unless she paid him £400 he had pictures that she would not want her husband to see. She called the defendant again and he still denied it was him.
‘She said she would call the police and the Instagram account he had used was then deleted. She never gave in to the demands and lost no money.’
Victim B, a 21 year old sales assistant in Scotland, met Stainton online in October 2016 and sent him photographs, including a topless shot.
Mr Posner said: ‘They exchanged about five or six naked images. She sent them through Snapchat. Unknown to her, the defendant took screenshots of these images before they disappeared’.
For two months he extorted money from her until she reported him to the police. He then posted an intimate picture of her naked on her timeline on Facebook.
He seems to have been motivated by greed, which demonstrates a high level of deviancy and manipulation
Victim C, now in her early twenties, was only 15 when she was first in contact with Stainton on Facebook sometime before 2011, Mr Poster said.
Mr Posner said: ‘They chatted online and exchanged numbers. After several months he asked for a naked picture of herself. She was not comfortable with that. He asked for a topless picture instead.
‘Under some pressure she sent him one but her head was not in the photograph.’
When Stainton was jailed in July 2011 for dishonesty offences he called the girl and started writing to her from prison.
The prosecutor said: ‘He asked for more topless photographs but she declined.
‘On 22 January this year, using an Instagram account called Culture&Cars, he told her to bring £300 in cash and to leave it in an envelope under a bin in a park or he would upload the topless image.
‘The young lady was left scared, wondering how many other people would see it. She told her parents. They decided to call the police.’
Stainton has seven previous criminal convictions for 19 offences, added Mr Posner.
William Rose, defending, said: ‘There is nothing I can say which excuses or justifies his behaviour.
‘It was all down to money and his desperation to try to retain his accommodation. He had arrears of rent and was facing eviction. These ladies became victims because of his greed.’