Friday 9 December 2016

Blackmailer spared jail over 'porn actress' plot to save marriage

Published 03/11/2016 | 02:30

Pat O’Dwyer was given a three-year suspended sentence Picture: Cork Courts Limited
Pat O’Dwyer was given a three-year suspended sentence Picture: Cork Courts Limited

A man who blackmailed his sister-in-law for €10,000 with false claims that her husband was having an affair with a pornographic actress has been handed a three-year suspended prison sentence.

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Pat O'Dwyer (53) hatched the bizarre scheme in an apparent bid to save his own marriage.

Judge David Riordan at Cork Circuit Criminal Court warned that the offences had "doubly-victimised" the defendant's innocent sister-in-law, Ria Burgoyne, and her devoted husband.

O'Dwyer received a three- year suspended sentence last June for using an article (a sock) in an attempt to hide his fingerprints after planning to collect €10,000 in blackmail money from Mrs Burgoyne in an isolated Cork shed.

The father-of-two, from Wolfe Tone Place, Thurles, Co Tipperary, had also pleaded guilty to demanding money, namely €10,000, with menaces from his sister-in-law between October 20 and 23, 2015.

He also received a three-year suspended sentence for that offence yesterday.

But he was also told that he must have no further contact with his sister-in-law.

O'Dwyer had been remanded in custody for the past week awaiting sentencing. He spent his 53rd birthday in prison as a result.

Judge Riordan previously queried whether O'Dwyer had anything to say to his sister-in-law and her husband.

"I am sorry for what happened," O'Dwyer replied.

Judge Riordan said Mr and Mrs Burgoyne had been "doubly-victimised", firstly by the offence itself and secondly by details of it having been aired publicly. He noted that O'Dwyer was described as having "narcissistic" tendencies, with one psychiatrist saying he needed further evaluation for possible chronic psychotic disorder.

The judge described the offence as being at the mid to upper range.

Judge Riordan was told by Det Sergeant Sean Leahy that O'Dwyer apparently blamed his sister-in-law for the recent failure of his own marriage.

Explicit

He also hoped that if he managed to get €10,000, it might help him persuade his wife to give their marriage another chance.

The judge described Mrs Burgoyne's victim impact statement as "harrowing".

The court heard that O'Dwyer sent a package to his sister-in-law who was stunned, on opening it, to discover explicit photos of a pornographic actress and a note falsely claiming that her husband was having an affair.

Immediately upon receipt of the shocking package, Mrs Burgoyne contacted the gardaí.

Irish Independent

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