Sex offender avoids jail after ‘blackmailing’ girl with secret Snapchat sex tape

A sex offender has walked free from court after blaming his vile behaviour on his dad’s death.

Jack Wharburton set up a laptop to secretly record himself having sex with a woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

When she refused to see him again he sent her a message on Snapchat with a screenshot from the video, saying "come to mine – I've got something on you”, reports the Liverpool Echo..

Tom Hanlon, prosecuting, told Liverpool Magistrates' Court that the woman hadn't consented to being filmed by Wharburton and had no idea she had been recorded.

After the victim replied, pointing out that making the video was a criminal offence, Wharburton, 24, claimed in a police interview that it was “her idea.”

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However, the day after being interviewed he returned to the police station and admitted filming the woman without her consent or knowledge.

In court, Mr Hanlon conceded that Wharburton hadn’t shown the video to anyone else. But, he said, "there is a degree of abuse of trust, both engaging in a consensual act, and this has gone against that."

He added: "It's the anxious feeling that he has something on her, rather than the images itself.”

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David Achilles, defending, said his client claimed throughout the report that he didn't make the video for sexual gratification, but accepted that was an element of the offence of voyeurism.

He said: "Whilst to a degree he still maintains that, I accept there was some sexual gratification element, as indeed there must be for a guilty plea to be entered. I will say he's perhaps in denial about that."

Mr Achilles said: "We're dealing with a young man here, 24, never been in trouble with the police before, never seen the inside of a police station before, and the offence was committed with the background seen in the pre-sentence report, at a particularly difficult time in his life, with his father's illness and ultimate death from cancer, and other matters that were on his mind as well.”

He added: ”He bitterly regrets that he did it, he's apologetic because he now recognises the distress it would have caused her."

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Mr Achilles said Wharburton had a full time job, earning nearly £2,000 a month, and could pay compensation.

He said his client, who now supports his family financially, wouldn't offend again.

The lawyer said: "He sees himself as the breadwinner now in the absence of his father.

"There are particular difficulties in the family so far as his brother is concerned," he added.

At an earlier hearing, District Judge Wendy Lloyd said Warburton was “effectively blackmailing” the woman for sex.

After some discussion, Magistrates didn’t think the custody threshold was passed and handed Wharburton an 18-month community order, with a 45-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 150 hours of unpaid work.

Wharburton was ordered to pay £200 in compensation to the victim, £85 towards court costs, and an £85 victim surcharge.

The magistrates told him he must sign on the Sex Offenders Register for five years and imposed a two-year restraining order to protect the woman.

Magistrate Holcroft said: "Hopefully you've seen sense and the image has been deleted, but we ask that the image is deleted and any copy in the cloud or whatever is removed."

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