Thursday 19 October 2017

Man sent porn model photo to sister-in-law in €10k blackmail bid

Pat O’Dwyer outside court. Photo: Cork Courts Limited
Pat O’Dwyer outside court. Photo: Cork Courts Limited
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

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

Pat O'Dwyer (52) had hatched the bizarre blackmail scheme in an apparent bid to save his own marriage.

He received a three-year suspended prison sentence before Cork Circuit Criminal Court after a judge warned that his offences had "doubly-victimised" his innocent sister-in-law, Ria Burgoyne, and her devoted husband.

O'Dwyer received the sentence after using a sock in an attempt to hide his fingerprints when collecting €10,000 in blackmail money from Mrs Burgoyne in an isolated Cork farm 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 last.

Sentencing on that more serious charge was adjourned by Judge Dave Riordan until October 26 to allow for further psychiatric evaluation of O'Dwyer.

The court heard that O'Dwyer 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 also contained a note which falsely claimed the woman's husband was having an affair with the model depicted in the photos - and further falsely claimed that some of her husband's underwear and semen samples were in the writer's possession.

Immediately on receipt of the package, Mrs Burgoyne contacted gardaí. She was advised to wait until the individual made contact again.

O'Dwyer was arrested at the farm shed nominated for the blackmail payment.

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

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

Judge Riordan noted that 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 his recent marriage failure.

He also hoped that if he managed to get €10,000 it might help save his marriage.

Judge Riordan described the victim impact statement of Mrs Burgoyne as "harrowing" .

Irish Independent

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