Sleaford man tried to blackmail teacher after seeing his explicit sexual messages and images online

JAILED: Benjamin Priest
JAILED: Benjamin Priest

A Lincolnshire man who tried to blackmail a married teacher after discovering he had shared explicit photos and sex chat with another woman, has been jailed for 15 months.

During the lurid messages the teacher confirmed he would like to watch the woman have sex with a dog, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

The teacher, who can not be named for legal reasons, also exchanged explicit photos with the woman after they met on the internet site Face Party and moved to another phone app to discuss ‘sexual taboos’.

Richard Sheldon, prosecuting, said: “Those exchanges were recorded on various devices and came in to the defendant’s possession.”

The court was told Priest looked on Facebook and discovered the man was a teacher with a wife.

Passing sentence Judge Simon Hirst said in his view Priest’s primary motivation was to try to extort money from his victim.

The judge told Priest: “You messaged him and told him you had seen the photos, videos and messages.

“You told him that if he paid £950 by 5pm the next 
day then that would be the end of it.”

The teacher deleted his phone app but went to the police after receiving three further emails from Priest over the next two days, the court was told.

During the messages Priest asked the teacher if he cared more for money than his career or life and warned that he could contact his wife.

They also included comments such as ‘24 hours if you wish to proceed’ and ‘tick, tock’.

In a victim impact statement the teacher revealed he was having counseling.

The judge said he did not accept a claim by Priest that he only wanted to scare his victim until he contacted the authorities and was not concerned about the money.

“I don’t accept for one moment that your primary motivation was to out this man and cause him fear,” Judge Hirst added.

“Blackmail is an offence that has been described in other cases as one of the ugliest and vicious crimes in the 
calendar.”

Priest admitted blackmail following the incident in January this year.

Last Tuesday, the judge also made a restraining order which prevents Priest from having any contact with his victim.

Jeremy Janes, mitigating, said: “He accepts he went about it in the wrong way. His motivation was to expose 
the complainant for what he did.

“He saw it more of an offer than as a demand for money. He wanted to expose him because of his job as a teacher.”

Mr Janes added: “This was a relatively modest sum of money. It appears it would have been a single demand.”