Wednesday 22 February 2017

Man (52) tried to blackmail his former sister-in-law with false porn actress claims

Published 03/06/2016 | 02:30

Judge Riordan described Ms Burgoyne's victim impact statement as
Judge Riordan described Ms Burgoyne's victim impact statement as "harrowing" (Stock picture)

A middle-aged man attempted to blackmail €10,000 from his former sister-in-law with false claims her husband was having an affair with a pornographic model.

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Pat O'Dwyer (52) pleaded guilty before Cork Circuit Criminal Court to the attempted extortion with menaces of €10,000 from his sister-in-law, Ria Burgoyne.

The offence related to dates between October 20 and 23 last at Midleton and Whitegate in east Cork.

Judge Dave 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.

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

Judge Riordan described Ms Burgoyne's victim impact statement as "harrowing."

The court heard that O'Dwyer of Wolfe Tone Place, Thurles, Co Tipperary, hatched a bizarre plan to blackmail his sister-in-law for €10,000.

He sent a package to the woman who was stunned, on opening it, to discover explicit photos of a pornographic actress. Det Sergeant Leahy said the package, which was received by the victim on October 9 last at her place of work, also contained a detailed hand-written note.

That note falsely claimed the woman's husband was having an affair with the model depicted in the photos - and further claimed that some of her husband's underwear was in the writer's possession. Ms Burgoyne immediately contacted the Gardaí.

All the allegations in the letter were false and Ms Burgoyne was advised to wait until the individual made contact again.

Suspicion fell on the defendant from a very early stage of the investigation.

Ms Burgoyne received two further letters. Det Garda Leahy explained that a major garda intelligence operation was mounted which included placing lengthy surveillance on an old barn outside Whitegate.

Some time later, the defendant was viewed entering the barn and he was detained by officers hidden outside. Gardaí found him to be in possession of a balaclava and an old sock. He was apparently using the latter as a make-shift glove so he wouldn't leave fingerprints at the scene.

Judge Riordan was told O'Dwyer pleaded guilty at the earliest possible opportunity and was deeply remorseful. He will be sentenced on June 9.

Irish Independent

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