Man convicted for distressing hoax calls


A man who claimed he had kidnapped former actress Gemma McCluskie has today pleaded guilty to offences under The Communications Act 2003. Sam Dunne was convicted at Medway Magistrates’ Court and was sentenced to 180 days imprisonment.

Jenny Hopkins, CPS London Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor said: "These calls were made at a time of extreme distress for Gemma's family and friends. Sam Dunne cruelly took advantage of their appeals for information about Gemma's whereabouts on Facebook.

"The calls were made to Gemma's brothers, Tony and Danny, and were heard by other members of her family and friends. Everyone who heard the calls, except Tony who has now been convicted of her murder, believed she was still alive and they were becoming increasing concerned for her welfare.

"During the calls Dunne demanded large sums of money and made extremely distressing claims.

"The disturbing act of preying on vulnerable or grieving people is hugely traumatising and painful for the victims.

"This conviction sends a clear message that we take these crimes very seriously."

Dunne pleaded guilty to four counts of sending by public communication network an offensive/indecent/obscene/menacing message/matter.

He was sentenced to 180 days for each count to run concurrently.