Woman tried to kill herself after blackmailer put naked picture on Snapchat

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A blackmailer who caused a young woman to attempt suicide after posting a naked photo of her on social media has been jailed for 20 months.

O’Shea Waithe, 24, put the picture on his Snapchat Story for 24 hours and mentioned the names of people who would see it all.

When the victim said she would go to the police if he posted the image on social media, he said he would get his friends to distribute it instead.

Waithe, of Redhill, Surrey, admitted to attempting to humiliate the 24-year-old woman in order to get money back she had borrowed in the past.

But the victim said her tormentor, who was living at home with his parents, just wanted to ‘better his personal circumstances,’ Guildford Crown Court heard.

Waithe contacted her on June 1 and told her he would post the intimate photos unless she paid up.

The court heard how the woman was so scared he would go through with his threat she tried to take her own life.

She ended up in hospital and told the police of what happened while she was there.

The hearing heard how she met with police three weeks later, but Waithe had not contacted her again so they did not progress the case.

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Just three days after that, on June 25, Waithe messaged her again at 1am asking for money and ‘asking about her private life,’ the court was told.

The victim says Waithe was naming people from the contact list on her phone, sparking fears he had somehow hacked in to it and could send the explicit picture to her friends.

To prove he was serious about his threats, he posted the naked photo on his Snapchat Story, which is available to view for 24 hours, the court heard.

The woman contacted the police again who advised her to block Waithe’s number.

Just a few minutes after following their advice, she received an email saying he had deleted the photo, attaching a screenshot to prove it was no longer available.

But the victim said it was too late and that he had already made the picture available.

Waithe told the woman she would not be believed if she went to the police.

He said she would be ‘totally f***ed’ if she tried as he would just get his friends to share the picture instead of him.

In a police statement, the victim said: ‘I tried to stay strong but it caused me to attempt suicide. I feel so low, I have not been sleeping or eating.

‘Since the first threatening message, I have felt trapped in my own life. I want to reclaim my dignity and start the process of healing.

‘I have not smiles or slept since this all started, I just want him to leave me alone.’

Judge Alexia Durran said the 12 month community order in his pre-sentence report ‘missed the mark’ for the ‘very serious offence’.

The judge added: ‘The facts of this case make for very unpleasant reading.

‘It seems to me that you gave the complainant money and you wanted the money back, the money you had loaned her.

‘You wanted it back as you were living at home with your parents and you wanted to better your personal circumstances.’

She said the woman has ‘not felt happy for months’ and has suffered panic attacks since she started Waithe started sending his messages.

Judge Durran sentenced him to 20 months in prison to run concurrently with another two month sentence.

She acknowledged there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation but said such a ‘mean’ offence ‘needed a deterrent’.

The judge also imposed a 10 year restraining order forbidding Waithe to go near his victim, along with a victim surcharge.

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