Sending naked photos to dates now a ‘hallmark of our society,’ judge says

Sending naked photos to dates now a ‘hallmark of our society,’ judge says
Sending naked pictures to prospective partners is now a “hallmark of society,” a judge has said, as he jailed a man for blackmailing three young women with revenge porn.

Daniel Stainton, 26, of Cheltenham pleaded guilty to disclosing private sexual photos with intent to cause distress, and was jailed for five years and three months. He had blackmailed three women who sent him naked pictures of themselves after meeting him on social media.

Sentencing at Gloucester Crown Court, Judge Jamie Tabor QC said: “It is a hallmark of our society now that young women and sometimes young men – sometimes mature people – exchange such photographs. All well and good.

“But what people do not appear to appreciate is that these images are not gone in a moment - they can hang around, as we can see in this case, for years.

“There came a time in your life when you were hard up for money and decided to embark on this campaign of blackmail. The effect on the women was dramatic and horrible. You had no regard at all for your victims,” he said, according to the Telegraph.

Richard Posner, prosecuting, said the victims were left feeling “degraded, humiliated and traumatised.”

Victim A was a 26-year-old shop worker from Cheltenham, who met Stainton in 2012 and thought he was a “nice guy, a shoulder to cry on” when her marriage broke down, Posner said.

“From March 2013 they became close. She sent him two photos of herself naked via WhatsApp. She then decided to leave her husband for the defendant – but he immediately sent her husband a text telling him that she had been cheating on him.

“She says this broke her heart and she lost all contact with the defendant.”

Then in 2016 he contacted her on Instagram with a different name, asking to be her friend. When she accepted, he sent her four photographs of women, one of them the intimate shot of herself.

“She said she would call the police and the Instagram account he had used was deleted. She never gave in to his demands and lost no money.”

Victim B, a 21-year-old sales assistant from Scotland, sent Stainton a topless photo in 2016 via Snapchat. Unknown to her, the defendant took screenshots of the images before they disappeared.

“Last December he contacted her and demanded money or he would post the pictures online if she didn’t pay him. For two months he extorted money from her. He said he would send the pictures to her family and friends if she did not pay.”

She ended up paying him almost £1,000 not to go public with the intimate pictures of her. When he continued to ask for money, she reported him to the police, and he posted an intimate picture of her naked on her timeline on Facebook.

She had suicidal thoughts which forced her to take time off work.

“I was left broken. He just didn’t seem to care. He was just wanting money. I felt worthless,” she said in a victim statement to the court.

Victim C, now in her 20s, chatted with Stainton online for many months before he asked for a naked picture of her. When she sent a topless photograph, he demanded she leave £300 in cash under a bin in a park or he would upload the topless image.

William Rose, defending, said: “These ladies became victims because of his greed.”

“It was all down to money and his desperation to try to retain his accommodation. He had arrears of rent and was facing eviction.”