A man was charged with demanding thousands of euro through the use of threatening behaviour towards a 60-year-old man. This arose out of an investigation by Gardai into alleged blackmailing of men on a gay dating site.
Neil Duggan, 45, of Riverside Rise, Rushbrooke, Cobh, Co Cork, was charged following a 6-month investigation that a man was blackmailed and accused of meeting a young man on the site only to discover that he was a minor.
Duggan was charged with demanding €2500 from the 60-year-old on April 11, 2017, and a further €5000 two days later at Topaz Filling Station in Douglas.
He was also charged with threatening to kill the same man and with making threats to damage his property and van in the car park of the Silver Key Pub in Ballinlough.
Mr Duggan was present in court and Detective Garda Dave Hickey gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution and that Duggan made no reply to any of the charges after the caution was put to him.
Gardai had no objection to bail once certain conditions were met. These conditions include Duggan having no contact directly or indirectly with the injured party.
Judge Olann Kelleher remanded Mr Duggan on bond to appear on March 7.
Dangers of Online Dating
This is the latest in a line of reports on the dangers of online dating sites and apps.
In 2015, members of Cork’s LGBT community were warned to take precautions when meeting prospective dates from dating apps, as it has become a way in which homophobic attackers find their victims.
A friend of one such victim, Louise O’Donnell recalled an incident where he was targetted: “When he got there four or five men hopped out of a van. Thankfully he managed to get away,” she told the Irish Examiner.
In 2014, a similar attack on a gay man took place in Dublin, in which the user was ambushed by a group of men in Temple Bar after arranging a date online.
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