Saturday, 31 August 2019

Jail For Armed Crack User

An armed crack user caught lying on his couch when police raided his north London home has been jailed for six years.
Olusegan Shobanjo, 20 of Penavia Court, Colindale had stuffed his pistol and ammunition down the back of the couch.

He was convicted at Harrow Crown Court of possession of a firearm and ammunition, plus possession of crack cocaine and £4,000 in illegal criminal profits.

The court heard that on the morning of September 13, last year officers executed a search warrant at Shobanjo’s home address. 
Upon gaining entry, the suspect was found lying on the sofa and he was immediately arrested.
Officers searched the back of the sofa and found the gun and a quantity of ammunition. 
A number of Class A and B drugs and cash were also found in the property.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Bryan Pontin said: “There is absolutely no reason a firearm like this and live ammunition should be on the streets of London. 
“I’m extremely proud of all the hard work that my colleagues have put in to identify Shobanjo and seize this weapon.
I hope that this result sends a stark warning to anyone who is in possession of, or is thinking holding a firearm for a friend or family member.”

Friday, 30 August 2019

Art Gallery Owner Sentenced For Battering Young Girlfriend In Multi-Million Pound Apartment

Nahmad today after sentencing
The jealous and paranoid member of a famous art-dealing family, who twice left his young girlfriend battered and bruised after attacks at his luxury apartment, received a suspended prison sentence today. 

Joseph Nahmad, 31, who owns a Mayfair art gallery, repeatedly slapped and kicked 20 year-old Georgia Barry - even repeatedly banging her head against a wall during the drunken attacks.

Nahmad, of The Knightsbridge, 199 Knightsbridge, is the latest generation of a powerhouse art-dealing family, who made billions in impressionist and modern art. 

He owns Mayfair’s Nahmad Projects gallery in Cork Street.

At Southwark Crown Court Nahmad was sentenced to 14 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months and must attend twenty days of rehab.

Judge Jeffrey Pegden QC told him: “There are mitigating factors. You are of good character and have taken steps to address your offending behaviour, steps that you started before you were arrested.

“You have found yourself a counsellor that you have been going to twice a week and I take into account your lack of maturity that the psychiatrist refers to and the extensive character references I have seen.”

Nahmad pleaded guilty to assaulting Ms Barry, causing her actual bodily harm, on October 27, last year and March 8, this year at his multi-million pound apartment.

Prosecutor Mr. John Fairhead told the court today: “They began a relationship in May, 2018 and after three months she moved into his flat in Knightsbridge.

“She describes the defendant as paranoid, jealous and controlling and would constantly go through her phone to see who she was talking to and messaging and there were arguments and assaults.”

The couple had been out with friends on October 27, last year. “She says he was very drunk and she was drunk and he became paranoid and started asking questions.

“She did not want an argument and asked to go home and when she went to sleep he started demanding to know why a male friend was calling her and demanded she unlock her phone.
Nahmad leaving court after guilty pleas

“He puled her by her t-shirt, grabbed her arms and threw her around the room and this continued in the bathroom as he demanded she unlock her phone.

“He put both his hands around her throat and Ms Barry says: ‘It was really hurting and I couldn’t breathe.’

“He apologised when she unlocked the phone and said: ‘Let’s go to sleep,’ and once he fell asleep she went home to her parents,” added Mr. Fairhead.

“They saw her in floods of tears and distressed and saw substantial bruises to her arms and neck.”

She sent pictures of her injuries to Nahmad, who replied: ‘My God. I’m so sad. My God, my angel. I feel s***.’

Georgia did not report Nahmad to police and the couple were back together on March 8 when they went for dinner with friends at a restaurant opposite his flat.

“She had her phone on the table and was receiving messages from friends and the defendant started getting paranoid and started interrogating her back at the flat.

“He seized the phone and ran into the bathroom and locked the door and she could hear him crying and wailing as he’d found out she kissed another man when they were not together.

“He came out asking questions and when she tried to take her phone back he grabbed her and slapped her face twice and held her down on the floor, kicking her legs.

“He grabbed her around the neck with both hands and pushed her against the wall and banged her head three times against the wall.

“He got in front of her to stop her leaving and pulled her into the kitchen and said he would not hit her if she answered questions.

“However, he slapped her twice in the face hard and took an energy drink from the fridge and sprayed it in her face and poured it over her head and back.

“She tried to leave, but slipped on the wet floor and he kicked her four times on the legs and Ms Barry says he picked up a knife and asked: ‘Are you going to say sorry?’

“She says he then put it down,” added Mr. Fairhead. Nahmad has always denied picking up a knife during the row.

“He then grabbed her under the chin, slapped her face and banged her head against the wall.

“She ran out of the flat and got a taxi home and her parents saw her injuries and her distress.

“She had bruising to both legs and all over her arms. Two bruises on her chin, one to her eye and a scratch on the side of her face and neck that she said was really sore.

“She is of very slight frame the Crown would say.”

Ms Barry told police: “The incidents made me fell betrayed and confused. I don’t understand how someone can do this and I am humiliated I am with someone who treats me this way.

“He has insulted my looks and degraded me during these incidents and did it throughout the relationship.”

The court heard Nahmad received a police caution for common assault against another girlfriend in June, 2010.

Nahmad pleaded not guilty to similarly inflicting actual bodily harm to Ms Barry at elite celebrity hotspot Tape London, 17 Hanover Square, Mayfair between January 31 and February 15, this year.

The CPS decided not to pursue the charge and Nahmad’s QC William Clegg said: “There was an incident in a nightclub where a scratch and bruise were sustained. Very minor injuries.”

During his probation interview Nahmad admitted using cocaine once or twice a month, but could not recall if he was under the influence of the drug during the assaults.

“They both took what are known recreational drugs, but are illicit drugs,” added Mr. Clegg. 

A psychiatrist told the court Nahmad sought counselling before the first assault, describing him as immature in dealing with adult relationships and lacking the development to cope emotionally.

He described Nahmad as having a difficult childhood due to shyness and bullying at school, adding his jealousy stems from insecurity and is worsened by alcohol. 

Mr. Fairhead said the energy drink incident was an aggravating factor. “The prosecution say that was gratuitous degradation of the victim.”

Judge Pegden told Nahmad: “When you were in drink and a state of paranoia and jealousy you assaulted this twenty year-old woman on two occasions.

“It is clear to me you were emotionally distressed. Nearly as emotionally distressed as the victim.

“At work and other areas of your life you are an entirely different person.”

Nahmad was also made subject to an indefinite restraining order, prohibiting contact with Ms Barry and was ordered to pay her £750 compensation and £1500 costs.

“That order for compensation is the best estimate I can make for the extensive bruising and emotional turmoil she has suffered,” added the judge.

Nahmad - who once made the Under-30’s Forbes rich list - has a brother Hillel ‘Helly’ Nahmad, who is also a New York gallery owner, as are two of his cousin’s. 

He is the son of Beirut-born billionaire art dealer Ezra Nahmad.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Brexit Supporter Jailed For Abusive MP Phone Calls

A Brexit supporter has been jailed for 18 weeks for verbally abusing eight Tory and Labour MP's.
Robert Vidler, 64, of Vaughan Road, Harrow, was convicted after a trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court.
He was found guilty of all eight offences against him; five of harassment and a further three of malicious communications.
He has also been granted a Criminal Behaviour Order with conditions of; not to contact directly or indirectly any Member of Parliament other than the MP representing a constituency where he is a registered voter.
Between January 8 and 24, Vidler left multiple voicemails on Palace of Westminster phones to Conservative and Labour MP’s, all using abusive language and aggressive threats of significant violence.
All of the voicemails left to MP’s made a reference to their involvements in Brexit and alleged Remain credentials. 
Vidler has since said he does not remember making the calls following his admission that he is an alcoholic.
After the messages had been reported, his arrest was sought by police.
He self-presented at Harrow police station on Sunday, January 27 and was arrested for harassment and then malicious communications.
Data taken from his phone through his internet search history revealed that he had searched the details of MP’s on multiple occasions. 
The number also matched that of messages left on the Palace of Westminster phones’ and call logs further incriminated Vidler in the case.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Punched Bar Teen Suffered Facial Fractures

Police are hunting this suspected bar thug after a teenager was punched to the floor, suffering facial fractures.
In the early hours of Saturday, April 13, the 19-year-old victim was drinking with friends at The Lighthouse Bar in Rivington Street, Hackney.
In an unprovoked attack, he was punched in the face by the suspect, which knocked him to the floor.
He attended hospital where he required surgery for a fractured cheek-bone and eye-socket.
Detectives have released this CCTV still of a man they wish to identify in connection with the assault.
There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.
Any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to call detectives from the Central East Command Unit on 101 or contact via Twitter @MetCC. Please quote CAD 3644/08Aug
To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Dead Men Do Tell Tales: Met Cop Nicked From Deceased's Home

A Metropolitan Police officer, who nicked a dead man’s driving licence and bank card when called to the deceased’s home after his sudden death, avoided prison today.

PC Oliver Levi Darby, 42, was on the uniformed response team in the northern part of Westminster Borough and was responsible for securing the deceased man’s property.

Blackfriars Crown Court heard the items were found when fellow officers searched his room in the Gilmour Section House, Kennington Lane, Lambeth on January 11, last year.

The search occurred because a WPC accused him of spying on her two days earlier while she was showering, a charge Darby was acquitted of last year. 

Also found during the search were three further bank cards he stole from the post of two people who formerly resided at a Wimbledon rented home once occupied by father-of-one Darby.

Today he was sentenced to a twelve-month community order, which includes 200 hours community service and twenty days rehab. He must also pay £1500 costs.

Ex-Royal Engineer Lance Corporal Darby, of Sand Cottage, Docking Road, Burnham Market, King’s Lynn, Norfolk pleaded not guilty, but was convicted, of stealing those three cards.

He also pleaded not guilty, but was convicted, of stealing the provisional driving licence and bank card belonging to the estate of Gary Steel, of Randolph Avenue, Maida Vale on January 6, 2017.

Recorder Richard Smith told bearded Darby: “Your crime was carried out while on duty as a police officer, the very antithesis of what is expected of a police officer, let alone during a sudden death call which you are expected to deal with great respect and sensitivity.”

Darby told the jury he had little recollection of how he came into possession of the stolen property, which did not impress Recorder Smith.

“You may not have fully come to terms with the responsibility of your offending and I put little weight on your supposed remorse.” 

The recorder told Darby he would not be sending I’m to prison due to his personal circumstances. “You had an unblemished record until this point in your life and the convictions will continue to have consequences for your family and your risk of further offending is low.”  

Darby’s lawyer Heather Oliver told the court: “The offences seem spontaneous, opportunistic with little or no planning.

“He will also be punished by the termination of his career and the isolation from friends and  colleagues and the shame and humiliation of the public nature of these verdicts.

“They have been writ large in the press and his local community.

“He has found this whole process extremely traumatic and the stigma of his criminality is a real stigma for this man that will stay with him for the rest of his life.

“He is an Army veteran who served his country for sixteen years and his community as a police officer for five years.

“He faces the loss of employment and his income. He lives with his mother and step-father and cares for his mother who in the last twelve months has suffered a heart attack and had a hip replacement.” 

Prosecutor Mr. Oliver Doherty told the court today: “PC Darby falls to be sentenced on three counts of theft, having been convicted by the jury at trial a few weeks ago.

“The motivation the for offending in this case must have been financial. In the pre-sentence report Mr. Darby expresses what is described as remorse for the offences, but there is no explanation given as to why he stole the bank cards.

“You may feel he must have been financially motivated,” the prosecutor told the recorder. “The jury heard he had to take out a six thousand pound loan at the time and told people at the Wimbledon address he didn’t want to stay there due to financial pressures.

“At the time he was taking holidays abroad to Cancun, New York and Copenhagen that you may feel are not consistent with a police constable’s pay.

“The most serious offence is the theft of the Barclaycard and provisional driving licence belonging to the estate of Gary Steel.

“PC Darby and the other officer attended Gary Steel’s address when people who knew him were concerned for his welfare and they found him at the address.

“There can scarcely be a higher degree of trust put into a police officer, entrusted with going into someone’s house.

“He was an opportunistic thief who took that moment to steal the card. I put that to him in cross-examination.

“I do not think it is right to say there was any degree of planning in respect of Gary Steel’s card.”

Regarding the Wimbledon occupants Mr. Doherty added: “The theft of bank cards out of the postal system when one is sharing accommodation with these people is also a breach of trust.

“The reason the police officers searched his room was because there had been an allegation of voyeurism by another police officer at that location and he was found not guilty after a trial last year.”

Mr. Doherty told the jury during the trial: “The reason why Mr. Darby wanted these cards isn’t entirely clear, but at the time he was having some financial difficulties.

“He had cause to tell other people he had financial difficulties, but it is not the prosecution case he ever used the cards even though one was used to pay a Cyprus-based internet dating site.”

During the search a Halifax Visa and MasterCard, still attached to the original letters, were found in a shoe box and a Barclays Visa card was found on a shelf.

The late Mr. Steel’s Barclaycard and licence was found in a red bag by Darby’s bed.

He was one of two officer’s who attended the deceased man’s home where property was officially listed. “There was no recording of the licence or bank card later found,” explained Mr. Doherty.

“Darby does not dispute the items were in his room, but does deny dishonest possession.”

Monday, 26 August 2019

East London Shop Stabbing: CCTV Image Released

Police hunting a mystery knifeman, who stabbed another man in an east London shop, have released this CCTV image of their suspect.
Officers were called at approximately 2.20pm on Wednesday, July 10 to reports of a man stabbed inside a shop in Upper Clapton Road, Clapton.
London Ambulance Service also attended and the man, aged in his thirties, was taken to hospital for treatment – he has since been discharged.
Officers are keen to identify and speak to the man shown in the image who is thought to have been involved in this incident.
Anyone who recognises this man or with information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact officers in the Central East CID on 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD 4702/10July.
Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
No arrests have been made and enquiries continue.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Hammer Maniac Tried To Kill Mother And Daughter Outside Home

Hammer Mayhem: Xuereb
A hammer-wielding former mental health patient has been detained for trying to kill a mother and daughter during a sudden unprovoked attack.
Heavy cannabis smoker Joe Xuereb, 28, only lived three doors from the victims, a 30 year-old Polish woman and her mother, 64, who was visiting her.
He was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order under the Mental Health Act after pleading guilty to two counts of attempted murder and one of possessing an offensive weapon.
Xuereb, of Adderley Gardens, Eltham was outside his home just after midday on Sunday, August 19, last year when he approached the victims from behind.
Xuereb, armed with a hammer, repeatedly struck both victims over the head and face in a sustained and unprovoked attack which left both victims unconscious.
As they lay prone in the street, Xuereb continued to strike them both in the head and face before he fled the scene.
Following the arrival of the emergency services, the victims were taken to hospital in a critical condition.
Both remained in hospital for a number of weeks and were left with life changing injuries.
Officers issued an urgent appeal for information and Xuereb was identified by a member of the public in Bexley later the same day and was arrested at 7.36pm.
Judge Richard Marks said if not for the presence of psychiatric illness, a life sentence would have been inevitable.
Detective Sergeant Matt Deans, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “This was a brutal and unprovoked attack, which both victims are incredibly lucky to have survived.
“This horrific incident has had a significant impact on both of their lives and we hope this conviction will bring them some kind of closure.”

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Police Hunting Acid Robber In PRIDE Hat

A shop robber, who assisted his disguise with a gay-friendly PRIDE baseball cap, is being hunted after staff were threatened with acid.
Police have released this image of the raider they want to trace following the robbery in Islington on Tuesday, July 2.
At around 3.00pm, a man entered a supermarket on White Conduit Street, where he threatened staff and demanded money from the till.
He claimed to have a bottle filled with acid and warned the female staff member not to make any calls to police.
He then left the premises on foot with a quantity of cash.
The man is described as a black male aged in his early thirties, around 5ft 6ins tall, with a short scruffy beard which was black and grey in colour.
At the time of the incident, he was wearing a black cap with the word PRIDE written in different rainbow colours across the front of it and large, square sunglasses with black frames. 
He was also wearing a large and baggy black jacket.
Detective Constable Rob Griffiths, leading the investigation, said: “This was a terrifying incident for the victims which left them with significant financial loss.
“We believe that the man walked in the direction of Chapel Market, Islington and we are urging anyone who may recognise him to come forward and help prevent others from becoming victims of crime.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 with CAD 2240/11JULY2019 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Pawnbroker Gets Life For Murdering Girlfriend After Jury Reject Insanity Claim

Guilty: Ian Levy
The murderer of mother-of-three, who could be heard by a neighbour screaming for her life minutes before she was stabbed her to death, has been sentenced to life imprisonment. 

Ex-pawnbroker Ian Levy, 55, of Lime Court, Great North Way, Hendon, repeatedly plunged a large kitchen knife into his 50 year-old girlfriend Elize Stevens, the Old Bailey was told.

He pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Stevens, a welfare officer with the Jewish S&P Sephardi community, at his home on March 2, claiming diminished responsibility.

However, a jury convicted him and Levy must now serve a minimum of twenty-one years before he can be considered for parole. 

Afterwards Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh said: “Through our investigation we’ve had the privilege of getting to know a little bit of the late Elize.

“She was a wonderful mother and decent person, always willing to support others in need and totally selfless.

“Behind the locked door of Levy’s flat Elize would suffer a mindless and frenzied attack for no reason.

“Levy tried to erase a beautiful person from our community, but he has failed. Elize will always be remembered as a loving mother and decent person.

“By its nature a murder investigation is distressing. It is unthinkable why people stab each other, but then you come across someone like Levy, whose actions are beyond comprehension.

“Levy is a cruel and sadistic man. He inflicted multiple injuries to Elize.

Stabbed: Elize Stevens
“One can never articulate the pain that a family goes through when they lose a loved one to murder and Elize’s family have endured a very difficult and distressing trial, which has involved listening to the appalling injuries their loved ones suffered.” 

Sadly, divorcee Ms Stevens was last seen alive by her family at a Golders Green restaurant the night before, skipping the meal so she would not be late for Levy.

Just after 10am the next morning downstairs neighbour, musician Michael Hardy, heard her screams for help, explained prosecutor Jane Bickerstaff QC.

“He ignored it for ten seconds then heard running and thudding as if people were running into things and heard a woman shout: ‘Help, help’ in a loud piercing scream.

“He could hear the woman’s voice saying: ‘Ian, Ian stop it. Leave me alone or you are going to kill me.’

“This was followed by loud screams and: ‘You’re strangling me. Murder! Ian, please stop, you’re going to kill me.

‘Ian please stop. You’re stabbing me. You’re going to kill me.’”

Levy refused to answer his front door to Mr. Hardy, who called 999 and returned with two neighbours.

Arrested: Levy
“There was, by this time, complete silence,” added the QC.

Only when police threatened to smash Levy’s front door open with a battering-ram ‘enforcer’ did the defendant open up.

“He came out into the communal hallway completely naked and covered in blood.

“The police could see a large amount of blood on the floor and spattered up the walls and the legs of a prone female.

“She was naked, on her back and covered in multiple stab wounds.

“Lying on the floor next to her was a large kitchen knife, a hammer and a pair of mens’ tracksuit bottoms covered in blood.

“Her body was then taken away after attempts to save her life that were futile”

There was evidence of the attack occurring in the bathroom. “There was lots of blood dripped onto the floor of the bathroom and onto the edge of the bath and sink.”

The court heard the pair began a relationship after Levy attended a ‘Shiva’ hosted by Ms Stevens, following the death of her father in January, last year.

“They met that week and seemed to have formed or rekindled a relationship,” said Ms Bickerstaff.

Life Imprisonment: Levy
Ms Stevens had moved to the heart of north London’s Jewish community in 2011 after an unhappy, violent marriage in Israel and had also become a grandmother.

Levy, who had tried online dating and has a background in the jewellery business, attended Slimming World appointments with her and was introduced to her family in October, last year.

She tried to help him find work by assisting with his CV after he quit a Burnt Oak pawnbrokers in January, this year and helped him overcome issues of depression and anxiety, the court heard.

On February 18, this year Levy called the police, expressing “suicidal intentions” and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

Ms Stevens sent him a supportive text two days later, which read: ‘Ian. I’m so happy to hear your voice, even though you are not feeling well.

‘You are extremely good enough to have a relationship, a job and be happier than you are now…..The future will be happier and I want to be part of your future.’

On February 28 - two days before the killing - Levy was discharged into the care of the Barnet Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team after telling a psychiatrist his anxiety had improved.

“Ms Stevens was supportive of his discharge,” said the prosecutor. “She was affectionate, patient and understanding of his condition.”

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Penis-Obsessed Weirdo Jailed For Harassing His Female MP

"Nonsensical": Guy
A penis-obsessed constituent, who sent his local MP Helen Hayes a picture of the famous Cerne Abbas Giant chalk-man during a year-long email harassment campaign, has been jailed.

Richard Guy, 43, also attached a photo of a man’s naked backside in an email, plus a full-length mirror image, despite a police warning to stop sending up to twenty “nonsensical” messages per day.

Today at Westminster Magistrates Court he received 15 weeks imprisonment and was made subject to a five-year restraining order prohibiting contact with the MP.

He was convicted of harassing the MP for Dulwich and West Norwood between September 1, last year and April 24 after a trial three weeks ago.

On that occasion at City of London Magistrates Court Guy jumped bail and did not attend the trial, which heard the emails began in April, 2018.

Guy was only charged for the period after uniformed police attended his address in Furneaux Avenue, West Norwood and issued a prevention of harassment warning.

A warrant for his arrest was issued by District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who announced: “These matters have caused her distress due to the content and nature of the emails, which also contained an image of an indecent nature.”

The court heard Guy sent a total of 576 emails after the police warning and plenty more before and was banned from the MP’s regular Friday constituency surgeries due to his strange behaviour.

Cerne Abbas Giant
Prosecutor Mr. Philip Stott told the court the emails contained Guy’s views on a vast array of subjects, including current affairs, politics, Brexit, his own sexuality, anti-semitism and homosexuality.

The Labour MP’s assistant Bethany Currie told police about Guy last August after his emails became more explicit. “He started talking about his penis and I became concerned.”

Last Christmas he enquired about Ms Hayes’ whereabouts in an email, asking: “Where are you this am?”

The assistant checks the MP’s parliamentary emails, but was overwhelmed by the sheer volume from Guy. “They were sent on a near daily basis,” explained Mr. Stott.

“Due to the volume she was unable to read them all and was concerned in the current climate there may have been something in them she missed.”

Helen Hayes MP
Ms Currie said in her statement: “They are hard to read due to their unpleasant nature, length and nonsensical nature.”

Because Guy ignored the harassment warning he was arrested, now sporting dyed ginger hair, on April 24, this year.

PC Richard Gallipo said: “He was immediately aggressive and agitated…..He said he had the right to free speech.”

District Judge Baraitser said: “Whatever his grievances his conduct clearly became harassment. He sent a barrage of emails, sometimes ten or more in day.

“This was capricious and irrational behaviour.

"In light of the possibility of a mental health issue I don’t want to proceed to sentence, which at this point would be custodial.”

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Gay Blackmailer Jailed For Demanding Cash From Grindr Dates

An NHS phlebotomist has been jailed for blackmailing his gay Grindr matches by sending embarrassing naked pictures of them to friends and family.

Patryk Hrymak, 27, demanded cash after exchanging nude images with his eight victims during online chats and followed through with his threats in relation to two of them.

The victims include a banking auditor; a private bank’s IT boss; a university admissions officer; a project manager and a couple of student nurses. 

Hrymak, of Norbury Crescent, Norbury pleaded guilty to eight counts of blackmail, plus two counts of disclosing private sexual photographs, with intent to cause distress, between November 4 and 12, last year.

Jailing him for two years and four months Croydon Crown Court Judge Deborah Charles told tearful Hrymak today: “You contacted these victims on Grindr and sent naked photographs of yourself to build up rapport.

“You encouraged them to send naked pictures of themselves to you and blackmailed them by threatening to send the pictures to their family and friends.”

Using the alias ‘Thomas’ Hrymak continued communicating with the men via Facebook, Instagram and other social media, giving him access to their contacts.

“He would ask to borrow small amounts, of money, thirty, forty or fifty pounds, which they all refused and then threatened to pass on the naked photos he obtained,” said prosecutor Shekinah Anson.

“To back this up he sent screenshots to prove he still had the images, plus screenshots of the victims’ online contacts.”

Hrymak met and had sex with the banking auditor, who gave him £20, but refused any more when blackmailed. He said the “traumatic” episode left him “scared and afraid.”

The IT boss suffered panic attacks as a result and says he felt “sick to my stomach” and “nauseous” at having naked pictures sent to two female friends, describing the ordeal as being “cyber raped.”

The openly gay project manager said the blackmail was an attempt at a return to the attitudes of the 1950’s when shame of sexuality could be exploited. 

One victim did transfer £110 to Hrymak. “He paid that out of fear these pictures would be sent to family and friends,” added Ms Anson.

“He is ashamed of his actions,” said Chris Johnston, defending, adding Hrymak, a respected employee at Croydon University Hospital, fell into £7,500 debt financing an expensive cannabis habit.

“He was not motivated by desire to ‘out’ these people, but just to send the naked images.”

Judge Charles told the first-time offender: “This has had a significant impact on your victims and blackmail is regarded as a nasty offence.

“As a man who says he was bullied over his sexuality as a youth you were well-placed to appreciate the consequences of gay men being ‘outed’ when it was not something they wanted to do.”