extortion plot | 

Antrim woman admits threatening to send ex cop’s nudes to newspapers in £10k blackmail

It all unfolded when the retired cop decided to send a friend request to Tinney — a woman he had arrested during his career

Elaine Tinney

Elaine Tinney

Paul HigginsSunday World

This is the north Antrim woman who cruelly blackmailed £10,000 from a retired cop after he sent her intimate pictures of himself.

Elaine Tinney admitted to probation she embarked on the extortion plot not to make money but “to actually cause suffering” to her victim.

The 50-year-old had also threatened to send his images, sent during a series of “flirty texts,” to the Sunday papers.

Tinney, from Gordonville Park in Ballymoney, had pleaded guilty to a charge of blackmail carried out between January 15-30, 2020.

It all unfolded when the retired cop “had consumed a few drinks” and decided to send a Facebook friend request to Tinney — a woman he had arrested and questioned during his career.

At first there was a series of flirty texts and then he sent her two images of himself, one of his legs and one of his private parts.

Tinney told him “he had a great body and that there were things she could do with his ‘weapon’ and he assumed this referred to his penis.” Her final message to the victim that night was wishing him “filthy dreams.”

Elaine Tinney

The next day things took a much more sinister turn, and for two weeks, she blackmailed the ex-cop. Tinney told him he had to “cough up compensation money to prevent the photos being published on social media” and in the Sunday papers.

“Tinney also told him that the people who knew about the photos were not going to let the matter go,” a prosecution lawyer said.

It was revealed the victim offered to pay £1,000 but was told he would “have to pay up a hell of a lot more or this is going everywhere”.

The victim pleaded that he “would do anything” to make the images ago away — and was then told he would need to pay double.

At one stage, after transferring £3,000, he received a message which included a photograph of his daughter.

With more monies being transferred, Tinney sent the victim a copy of his picture with his name and “retired cop….paedophile” emblazoned over it.

The victim threatened he would go to the police but “out of desperation he offered to send Tinney a further £1,000.”

“She then threatened to go to three big newspapers, the police and the courts unless he paid an amount of money similar to the amount he had already paid,” said prosecuting counsel Suzanne Gallagher.

The court was told the victim felt he had no choice but to keep paying and transferred a total of £10,000 to Tinney over two weeks.

It was only when she demanded a further £5k that the retired cop finally alerted his former colleagues.

When they searched her home officers seized just over £2,500 — and when her bank froze her account she had £2,800 in it.

Arrested and questioned, Tinney admitted her involvement in the blackmail but the court was told there was “some disagreement” over events in the lead up to it.

While the victim claimed Tinney was flirting with, and encouraging, him in the initial text messages, she “denied sending any sexual messages and said that the thing she wanted to do with his weapon was to report him to police.”

“Tinney said her motivation for doing this was to punish the victim for sending what she felt was an unsolicited photo of his penis. She also admitted that it became very much about the money for her,” the court heard.

A defence lawyer said while it was clear Tinney “has not tried to gild the lily,” he conceded it would be “concerning, if not an aggravating factor” that she admitted she wanted to “actually cause suffering” to her victim.

Tinney sat in a wheelchair during the hearing at Antrim Crown Court on Friday. The court was told she is an “isolated” woman who has been “ostracised by her family”.

Her lawyer asked to take into account that any prison sentence “would be more challenging for her” given her mobility problems.

Tinney was freed on bail, but was told that was no indication of what the sentence will be. The judge said the case would be dealt with on Tuesday.

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