A sex abuse victim in Britain who blackmailed a wealthy retiree by threatening to expose him as a pedophile has been jailed for six years.
Mark Phillips persuaded the man he accused of abusing him more than 25 years earlier to hand over a total of $326,000.
Exeter Crown Court was told that Phillips wanted money, revenge and control over the 70-year-old who had started abusing him when he was 13. The blackmail victim, who was married at the time, was having an affair with Phillips’s mother when “mutual sexual activity” took place with the boy.
The judge, Recorder John Williams, said that the blackmail victim, who cannot be named because of a court order, had been generous to Phillips before he began extorting money from him, setting him up in business. The judge said: “He had to be generous to keep the past silent.”
The court heard that over a period of three years Phillips made more than 30 threatening phone calls to the man demanding money. He demanded $244,000 and told him to sell homes he owned that were worth $1.1 million and $650,000.
Phillips threatened that if he didn’t pay out he would to go to the police and publicly expose him as a pedophile to the community in Dartmoor, Devon.
The blackmail came to light when some of the victims’ friends overheard one of Phillips’s calls in which he demanded his prized possession: a vintage car worth $24,000. The victim then disclosed his “dark secret."