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Girl tried to kill herself after pervert blackmailed her over naked pictures

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Man who has had his jail sentence extended by 30 months at Newcastle Crown Court for his attempts to blackmail a child over naked photographs,
Tony Swift left a schoolgirl feeling suicidal after he tried to blackmail her (Picture: NNP)

A teenager has spoken about the devastating effect a sexual groomer had on her life after he threatened to post naked pictures of her online.

Tony Swift, 34, told the schoolgirl that he was 22 as he groomed her over Blackberry messenger and convinced her to send intimate pictures of herself.

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He promised to delete them but when she refused to send an explicit video he said he was going to show them to her family and friends on Facebook.

Swift’s actions led the girl to try and kill herself.

She told Newcastle Crown Court: ‘I was in a position I couldn’t get out of. He had those pictures of me and he threatened to post them on social media so my friends and family would see if I didn’t sent him videos and naked pictures of other girls.

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‘I begged him and said I would do anything else. He kept putting more and more pressure on me and I didn’t know what to do.

‘I was frightened and I just wanted him to leave me alone. I didn’t know what to do to make it all stop.

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‘I was crying and shaking and thought of my friends and family seeing the pictures he had of me.’

‘I had thoughts of ending my life. I even tried to kill myself. I was only a child at the time. No child should ever have those thoughts.’

She then took the brave decision to tell police about what had happened and detectives discovered Swift used a series of aliases and had targeted an adult with learning difficulties.

He was jailed for nearly four years for blackmail against the adult, but after the teenager came forward his sentence was extended for almost three more years.

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Judge Julie Clemitson told him: ‘You threatened to post images, she had already sent you, on Facebook if she didn’t send you the videos you wanted.

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‘Thankfully, she was sensible enough and perhaps mature enough to feel able to contact the police.’

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She said the victim had been caused ‘extreme anguish’ and the effect on her ‘cannot be overstated’.

Judge Clemitson added: ‘Blackmail is a particularly despicable and loathsome offence because of the mental anguish it causes to the victim.

‘Here, your victim was a child, that is the serious aggravating factor. ‘You are clearly a sexual predator. You clearly pose a significant risk of sexual harm to girls and vulnerable women.’

He was told he must sign the sex offenders register and is subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.

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