Vicious blackmailer jailed after threatening schoolgirl over graphic pictures

A "vicious" blackmailer told a schoolgirl he "owned" her and warned graphic footage of her would be seen by her father unless she sent him more.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 4:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 1:23 pm
Michael Quinn (inset) was jailed for four-and-a-half years at Newcastle Crown Court.

Michael Quinn, 35, told the "distressed" victim, who was aged around 12-14, that the images he had already forced her to send would go viral unless she continued to do what he said.

Newcastle Crown Court heard his sickening campaign was conducted over a video app called Whereby and a record of what he had done was found when police raided his home and seized his phone.

Prosecutor Alec Burns told the court the conversation "clearly wasn't the first they had had" and added: "He had obviously threatened her before and told her to 'take it all off'.

"She said 'just the top' and she wouldn't do the pants. He told her 'I said nude'.

"She expressed further reluctance."

The court heard there was then images of the girl removing some clothing.

Mr Burns added: "He said 'I've recorded all this, you don't want it posted for your dad to see'."

The girl was then made perform graphic sexual acts over the video, which Quinn recorded and kept a copy of.

Mr Burns said the girl appeared to be aged 12-14 and Quinn called her a "good girl" after she did as he ordered.

He added: "She said 'can I go now'.

"He said 'I now own you, you can go tonight but next time I call, answer, or this goes viral'."

During the conversation the girl was "clearly in distress".

The court heard police had originally gone to Quinn's home on April 14 because he had engaged graphic chat and sent sexual images to an undercover police officer, who he thought was a 13-year-old girl.

He had posed as a teenage boy and used a false name during the conversations.

Quinn, of Burradon, pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity, attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act, blackmail and producing indecent photographs of a child.

Judge Penny Moreland sentenced him to four-and-a-half years behind bars.

Quinn must register as a sex offender for life and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

Judge Moreland told him: "Blackmail is a vicious offence and that was a vicious and mean thing you did."

Shaun Routledge, defending, said there as no hint Quinn, who he described as a "loner", had distributed the material featuring the girl to anyone else.

Mr Routledge added that Quinn, who has never been to custody or arrested before and has a good employment record, is sorry and has empathy with his victim.

He told the court: "There is no chance whatsoever of this defendant ever being repeated in the future.

"To say this was out of character is something of an understatement."