Man admits making revenge porn threats

A Lesmahagow woman was forced to endure hours of mental anguish as a man repeatedly threatened to put a video of her in a “compromising position” on social media.

At Lanark Sheriff Court on Thursday, Andrew Gray, 26, pleaded guilty to having, on December 10 last year, sent the woman text messages that were of a grossly offensive or menacing nature in that he repeatedly threatened to post a personal video of her on the internet.

Depute fiscal Ziad Hassan outlined the circumstances, saying that Gray and the woman had never been in a relationship with each other but had exchanged messages with each other on the Tinder dating site.

“Eventually, Gray had persuaded her to send him a video of herself in a compromisong position,” he said.

The two went on to meet face to face, but a relationship didn’t develop from that.

Then, on December 10 last year at 8am, she received a message from him, threatening that, if she did not apologise for recent messages she had texted him, he would post the video of her on Facebook.

Over the next eight hours, she sent him messages apologising, but Gray “kept moving the goalposts” and continued to threaten to post the video, stating he knew where to send the images to make sure her friends and family would see them.

Eventually, at around 5pm, the woman contacted the police, and they advised her not to reply to any more of his messages. Officers then contacted Gray at his home in Barshaw Drive, Paisley, Renfrewshire, and he duly handed himself in at his local police station.

When asked why he had acted in the way he did, he explained that the woman had been “getting cheeky” with him.

A clearly highly displeased sheriff Nikola Stewart said Gray was guilty of “appalling, appalling, appalling behaviour” and told him that, had new stronger legislation on revenge porn been in force when he committed the offence, he could be going to jail.

She called for background reports and deferred sentence until Thursday, August 17.