Cork Man Pleads Guilty To Gay Dating Site Blackmail

Neil Duggan pled guilty to the use of threatening behaviour and blackmail in order to extract thousands of euro from victim.

Exterior of Cork City court house where blackmail trial took place

Mr. Duggan of Cobh, Co. Cork, was originally charged following an investigation into the alleged blackmail of men on gay dating site, Fabguy. A complainant stated the blackmail had arisen with accusations he had linked up with a young man on the site only to discover the young man was a minor. This accusation then progressed into Duggan demanding thousands of euro from his victim through the use of threatening behaviour towards him.

Duggan admitted the charges of demanding money by menace, meaning no trial was needed to secure hisconviction. This involved demanding €2500 from the 60-year-old victim 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. He had previously plead guilty to the latter charges, the fact of which was withheld from publishing until the outcome of the trial.

Duggan’s barrister, Brendan Kelly, speaking at the Cork Circuit Criminal Court, stated his client had resorted to such desperate measures due to a gambling addiction. He said, “I would ask you to extend legal aid for a report from a counsellor Mr Duggan is attending. He has a severe gambling addiction. That is the genesis of his offending behaviour.”

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin agreed to extend the legal aid but did not agree to Mr. Kelly’s request for Mr. Duggan’s sentencing being adjourned up until October to allow him time to raise €7,500 in compensation for his victim. Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for June 14 with Duggan remanded on bail. As part of the conditions of bail, Duggan is to have no contact with the injured party and abstain from intoxicants as well as signing on with his local Garda station.

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