Man jailed for blackmailing victims he met online

|News, Cyber / online crime

A man who pretended to be women on online dating sites, and later claimed to be an underage girl to blackmail his victims out of thousands of pounds, has been jailed for eight years.

Charles Touzel set up online dating accounts using a woman’s photo. He would arrange to meet men on multiple occasions between January and May 2016.

When victims arrived to meet the woman they thought they were talking to, they were confronted with Touzel.

He would threaten to tell the police and their families they were paedophiles unless they transferred large sums of money to him, Taunton Crown Court heard.

In one incident, a man was taken to a hotel where he was told to stay until the bank opened and he could pay £10,000 to Touzel. Two other men were blackmailed for £5,000 and £18,000.

James Le Grys, from the CPS, said: “Charles Touzel was not communicating with these men and pretending to be an underage girl so he could report them to the police. He was speaking to them so he could blackmail them for his own financial gain.

“Evidence put forward by the CPS showed how Touzel used his own phone to pretend to be the girls before using the same number to demand money.”

Touzel received a total sentence of eight years and two months yesterday (2 July).

Notes to editors

  • James Le Grys is District Crown Prosecutor in the South West at the Crown Prosecution Service.
  • Charles Touzel pleaded guilty to three counts of blackmail at Taunton Crown Court on 23 November.
  • He also pleaded guilty to possessing a controlled drug of Class B with intent and possessing a controlled drug of Class C with intent.

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