A man blackmailing closeted Grindr users is jailed for 2 years

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A man who threatened to out closeted men he met via a popular gay dating app with face 2.5-year imprisonment. Liam Hull, 22, was jailed after being told by a judge that he had committed “attempted murder of the soul”. He received thousands of pounds in blackmail money from his victims, some of who were married to women and had children, but were used Grindr to hook up with men. One victim paid him thousands of pounds, and another came out to his wife after the threats. A third suffered a mild stroke following the threats.

The perpetrator pleaded guilty to three counts of blackmail. He was told by Judge Richard Foster of the Former Chief Justice Lord Lane’s words on blackmail. Judge Foster said: “Lord Lane said that in the calendar of criminal offences, blackmail was one of the ugliest and most vicious because it involved what one found so often, the attempted murder of the soul.”

The blackmailer contacted victims across the South of England, said prosecutor Max Hardy, but many were too scared to come forward to help police in case their identities became public. He asked victims to give him 1000 pounds. Receiving money he sent them massages saying something like “Be careful and look who you talk to”. Some victims were even married to women for many years and hid that fact that men attract them too. One of the victims had to come out to his wife for no one else to tell her that he is bisexual. Back in July 2015, Hull had been convicted of an offence for charging a man £200 to meet up and then not turning up. The judge thanked all three of the victims for coming forward and allowing “justice to be done”.

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