Man who posed as woman online to extort money from victim jailed for a year

Edinburgh Sheriff Court

A man who posed as a woman on Facebook has been jailed for a year following his attempt to extort money from someone who sent him naked photos.

David Mellor, 34, a former security guard, posed as “Emma” in order to extort hundreds of pounds from his victim who thought he was talking to a woman.

Mr Mellor, of Edinburgh, threatened his victim that he would post the images online unless he gave him £600.

The victim withdrew £120 from an ATM and left it at a bus stop for the extorter before contacting police.

Mr Mellor was handed a 12 month jail term at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday after he pleaded guilty in January last year to extortion.

Kirsty Anderson, fiscal depute, told the court the victim reported the issue to the police a day after he had made contact with Mr Mellor.

She said: “He instructed him to withdraw £120 in cash at the Tesco Super Store in Colinton Mains Drive and directed him to a bus stop on his mobile phone.

“Mellor was transmitting from the area and the man dropped off the cash as instructed”.

Gillian Law, defending, said Mr Mellor was the sole provider for his partner and her kids and that as a result of indebtedness he got involved in the extortion plan.

Later, he lost his jobs and was receiving benefits.

Mr Mellor handed himself into police and entered a guilty plea at an early stage but this was not accepted by the Crown.

Sheriff Alistair Noble told Mellor: “This matter cannot be dealt with in any way other than by custody because of its seriousness.

“You were preying on this individual”.

He took into account the amount of money transferred and other facts in Mr Mellor’s favour and, as a result, said he would reduce the sentence from 18 to 12 months.

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