Man apologises to sister-in-law over €10,000 porn model blackmail attempt

Judge expresses concern man showed little empathy for victim of extortion attempt

Pat O’Dwyer was back before Cork Circuit Criminal Court for sentence after he pleaded guilty last week to the extortion of €10,000 from his sister-in-law.

Pat O’Dwyer was back before Cork Circuit Criminal Court for sentence after he pleaded guilty last week to the extortion of €10,000 from his sister-in-law.

 

A 52-year-old man has apologised to his sister-in-law after he sent her a letter with sexually explicit pictures of a porn model with whom he alleged her husband was having an affair.

In a blackmail attempt, he also demanded €10,000 for the return a vial of, what he claimed was, the man’s semen.

Pat O’Dwyer was back before Cork Circuit Criminal Court on Thursday for sentence after he pleaded guilty last week to the extortion of €10,000 from his sister-in-law, Ria Burgoyne, by menaces in Midleton, Co Cork on October 20th, 2015.

O’Dwyer from Wolfe Tone Place, Thurles, Co Tipperary also pleaded guilty to possession of a sock with intent to commit an offence at Whitegate, Co Cork on October 23rd, 2015 – namely to collect €10,000 which he sought to extort from Ms Burgoyne.

The case had been adjourned to allow consultant psychiatrist Dr Stephanie Bourke prepare an update to a psychiatric report on O’Dwyer for Judge David Riordan, who had earlier observed that a victim impact statement from Ms Burgoyne made for “harrowing reading”.

Judge Riordan said it appeared that O’Dwyer had failed to engage with the psychiatric services in Tipperary and he had a narcissistic personality with little empathy and little appreciation of the impact his offending had on Ms Burgoyne and her husband Philip.

Judge Riordan said he was inclined to deal with the second charge of possessing the sock with intent to commit an offence and he sentenced him to three years in jail for that, but suspended it on condition he would engage with the psychiatric services and comply with any direction from his GP.

Judge Riordan then asked O’Dwyer if he had anything to say for himself whereupon O’Dwyer replied “I am truly sorry for what happened”, before he agreed to stay away from Midleton where Ms Burgoyne works and from Whitegate where she lives as part of the three-year suspended sentence.

Judge Riordan then adjourned sentence on the other charge of extortion until October 26th next and he gave the state liberty to re-enter the matter on any occasion before then if O’Dwyer breaches his undertaking to stay away and have no contact with Ms Burgoyne.

Last week, Det Sgt Sean Leahy outlined the background to the case and explained that O’Dwyer blamed his sister-in-law for the break-up of his marriage and planned to use the €10,000 he was seeking to extort from her to give to his ex-wife in an effort to impress her.

Det Sgt Leahy told how Ms Burgoyne received a large red handwritten envelope at her place of work on October 9th, 2015 and when she opened it, she found it contained a lengthy handwritten letter together with colour photos of a naked woman in sexually explicit poses.

The letter falsely alleged her husband Phillip Burgoyne was having an affair with the woman in the photos, while the author also claimed to have a vial of Mr Burgoyne’s semen, and, in a second letter sent on October 20th, 2015, demanded €10,000 in cash to secure the return of the semen.

Ms Burgoyne had nominated O’Dwyer as a suspect because of the way the letter writer had incorrectly spelt her surname and when he was arrested following a surveillance operation by gardaí and questioned, O’Dwyer made full admissions that he was behind the extortion attempt.

Defence barrister Ray Boland BL said his client had a very skewed perception of matters in which he blamed his sister-in-law for the break-up of his marriage and, with a bizarre logic, felt that if her marriage collapsed dramatically, it would make his own breakup look less disruptive and irreversible.

Mr Boland said that O’Dwyer appears to have undergone a personality change following the death of an infant son just two days after he was born, the loss of his drapery business in a fire and the deaths of both his parents all within a short space of time.