Blackmailer jailed over sexuality secrets threat to married ex-lover

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A BLACKMAILER is back behind bars after threatening to expose his male ex-lover’s secret sexuality to his family – for the second time.

Kriston Cook was jailed for 18 months in 2009 after threatening to tell his married former boyfriend’s family about their brief affair.

Newcastle Crown Court heard, six years later, the scheming 25-year-old went back to the same victim’s Wearside home and got away with almost £1,000 in cash in another nasty plot.

Cook, of no fixed address, admitted blackmail and Mr Recorder Palmer jailed him for four years.

The judge said: “Yours is a very unusual case because it is not the first blackmail offence you have committed.

“In 2009, you pleaded guilty to an offence of blackmail in respect of the same complainant.

“The background appears to be there was a brief relationship between you and the complainant, and the complainant has since settled down to married life with children.

“You have turned up and threatened to expose his past and for what you did on that occasion you were sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.

“You have to understand, that previous conviction is a serious aggravating feature of this case. You are a highly-manipulative individual.”

Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, told the court blackmail has been referred to in case law as “attempted murder of the soul”, due to the devastating effect it can have on its victims.

Mr Perks said in the second, “identical offence”, Cook had turned up at the victim’s door last year with a sob story about being homeless and needing some help.

The victim’s kindness led to him handing over £150.

Within days, Cook had coaxed the man into taking an intimate picture of him in the bath and started discussing a joint suicide pact.

The court heard when the victim rejected the suicide suggestion, Cook warned him there was a knife in the drawer that he would not hesitate to use.

Mr Perks told the court: “Given what the complainant knew of the defendant and his past actions, he was placed in fear and believed he was going to be the subject of violence.”

The court heard after the knife threat, Cook told his victim they were going for a drive and directed him to a city casino in Newcastle.

There, the victim was forced to hand over another £840 in cash or else the intimate bath snap would be sent to his family.

Mr Perks said: “The defendant told the complainant he had asked a third party to forward the image to all members of the family of the complainant, unless the defendant re-establish contact with him.”

The court heard “pathological gambler” Cook spent the cash at the casino.

Alec Burns, defending, said Cook is an intelligent man who has potential.