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'Cold and nasty' sailor blackmailed online date with naked photos

Date

Steve Butcher

Leading seaman Bradley McIntyre outside court.

Leading seaman Bradley McIntyre outside court. Photo: Ken Irwin

A married member of the Australian navy who blackmailed a woman by threatening to publish semi-naked photos of her on the internet has been spared an immediate prison term.

Leading seaman Bradley McIntyre, 27, of Woolongong, demanded sex or cash from the victim he met through the online dating site "Oasis" before each exchanged intimate photos.

Prosecutor Carolyn Burnside told Melbourne's County Court on Wednesday that McIntyre's use of the internet was "in this form vulgar and ultimately dangerous".

Ms Burnside said the exchange of photos allowed him to have a "profound hold" on the victim and that the threat of "exposure of the photos and exchanges (via text message) was mortifying for her".

Judge Michael Tinney described McIntyre's behaviour as cruel and his crime a "cold and nasty and remorseless" one in which he took "absolutely no pity" on his victim.

Judge Tinney also said it was disgusting, evil and cowardly and despicable to have preyed on the woman's vulnerability.

But he decided it was desirable in all the circumstances that a nine-month jail term be wholly suspended for two years, and that McIntyre also be fined $5000.

In doing so, Judge Tinney took into account matters that included McIntyre's early guilty plea to the charge of blackmail, which had spared his victim the trauma of giving evidence, his lack of prior convictions, his relative youth, his excellent prospects of rehabilitation and that he had cooperated with police.

Ms Burnside, in her sentencing submissions, said a suspended sentence was "within the range" as was a significant fine.

She also said that McIntyre - a father of a six-month-old - had clearly failed to "recognise that this woman would feel intimidated and demeaned".

The court heard that in April last year the pair spoke to each other over some days in a "flirtatious but friendly manner" with McIntyre, under the user name "mramazing 1986", and the woman agreeing to meet on May 25 last year.

Ms Burnside said that several days before this meeting, McIntyre contacted the woman to reveal he was in a relationship and when she later asked if they would meet he told her to "go away".

When he told her on May 27 he was single and would soon be in Melbourne, the woman told him she no longer wanted to communicate as he had deceived her.

Ms Burnside said McIntyre became angry with the woman and told her he had "naked photos of her and he had also identified her Facebook page" and said he was going to publish them - along with her name and mobile phone number - on the internet.

"(He) continued messaging the victim, providing her with the option of having sex with him in order for the photos and her details not to be published on the internet," she said.

McIntyre gave the victim a second option of paying him cash. When she offered $250, he demanded $500.

On arrest, McIntyre said he never intended carrying out the threats and that he was "only joking".

Defence solicitor Greg Thomas said that "in all other respects" his client, who will soon resign from the navy, was a hardworking, contributing member of the community.

Mr Thomas said McIntyre, a diesel mechanic, told police that at the time there were "big issues" between he and his wife that arose because he had been commuting fortnightly to work in Melbourne.

"Away from home, in the navy and he's doing stupid things ... in the context of going online," Mr Thomas said.

He was now, however, a "young man significantly woken up to himself", Mr Thomas said, and someone who "has learnt an enormous lesson".

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