Rock musician avoided prison after stealing personal images from his best friend’s girlfriend’s Snapchat account and then spamming her with them as part of a nefarious campaign.
After musician Robert Leary, 27, obtained the victim’s login information and password through the dark web, he sent copies of the graphic selfies and explicit messages to the 26-year-old victim on several occasions.
Leary, from Crosby, Merseyside, sought to coerce the lady over the course of two months by asking her: “How much do I need to pay to view more” when she begged him to remove the images.
While attending a children’s party, the victim also got a picture of an erect penis along with the phrase, “Think you can handle it all?”
Leary pleaded admission to counts of computer hacking, harassing, and transmitting abusive words and photographs before Sefton magistrates court.
He was given a 12-week prison term with a 12-month suspension and told to give the victim £200 in restitution.
Additionally, he was required to undergo a six-month mental health treatment program, 25 days of rehabilitative exercise, and 40 hours of unpaid labor.
A three-year restraining order, issued by the magistrates, forbade him from getting in touch with either the female victim or her boyfriend.
Leary, a bassist who was studying to become a teacher, even texted her frightened spouse more pictures of the victim partially undressed and inquired, “Do you recognize her?”
After the victim sought assistance from a cybercrime nonprofit, police revealed Leary.
The lady, who has now deactivated her Snapchat account, expressed her disappointment that the pictures were “open for anybody to view” in a statement and expressed concern that they might harm her career.
When they discovered who the troll was, she and her boyfriend were stated to be in “total disbelief.”
He spent more than 20 years as my partner’s closest buddy, she claimed. “I was quite outraged and furious because it wasn’t a stranger or strangers as I had allowed myself to think, and it had a significant impact on my girlfriend as well.”
We began to question who we could trust as a result of it. It is difficult to comprehend how someone so close to us could act in such a way without thinking about how it would affect us.
“Those were the toughest months of my life, and they transformed who I am.” It made me more anxious and made me fear that nothing I do would ever again be private. It made me question my value.
Even the Snapchat notification noise on other people’s cellphones makes me feel sick to my stomach.
The woman’s journey reportedly started when Leary entered an unauthorized website to access her account and saw a “camera roll of images of herself of a revealing nature.”
He downloaded them onto his own computer, sent the lady friend requests using four fictitious Snapchat accounts, and then sent her the pictures.
The victim’s testimony, which was read in court, stated: “A dialogue began, and I received a message showing myself half-naked, and my heart fell.
I was baffled as to how this stranger obtained my personal photographs, particularly since I hadn’t shown anybody. I begged him to get rid of the pictures, but he said it would only happen if more exposed pictures were given.
“I felt really frightened and nervous, ashamed, humiliated, and alone.” The idea that a total stranger had gained access to my personal photos made me feel terrible. These pictures were stored to my password-protected Snapchat account and were for personal use only.
“I felt violated, my privacy was invaded, and a stranger was sexualizing my body.” Never before had I felt such humiliation or embarrassment. I became aware that my account had been compromised. I had overwhelming humiliation, which kept me from discussing it. Out of desperation, I spoke with a cybercrime charity and explained what transpired.
After speaking with the charity, the lady claimed that the incident had been reported to the police, but a week later, she received another Snapchat message asking how much she would have to pay to see more of herself and another photograph of herself from another account.
I was upset because they felt entitled to my body and thought they simply needed to provide money, she said. It left me feeling unworthy. I immediately deleted the account. But my greatest worries were realized later that evening. My boyfriend received a message asking, “Do you know her?” along with additional exposed pictures of myself. While they were conversing, I sobbed and questioned “Why me?”
It may have harmed my relationship, she said. But fortunately, I have a kind and helpful spouse. I spent the next week awake at night worrying about what might occur. I assumed my private photos could be seen by anybody since many individuals were texting me. I worried about who would call me every day.
“I have put a lot of effort into being where I am now as a healthcare worker. It was terrible to think about what such messages would do to my professional standing. It made me feel humiliated, degraded, and like a sexual object.
Despite how much I have always loved using Snapchat, I was forced to remove it due to my anguish. At what should have been delightful family gatherings, the texts were received.
Leary has never been convicted before. He is a well-educated and well-reared young man, as you can see by his successes in life, but he found himself in a very, very dark place, his attorney Clare Roach told JPs.
He has not only wrecked his own life but also the lives of the complaint and his former companion. He has never retreated or made an effort to wiggle his way out of it. He has consistently acknowledged his wrongdoing and shown regret from the day of his arrest. He has never previously gotten into problems or been in court. never received even a parking ticket.
‘It would be an understatement to say that he has devastated his life. That in no way implies that his darkness is any worse than the complainant’s. He is aware that he cannot undo it. He extends his regrets.
He wants her to understand how sad, guilty, and repentant he is—not only for the agony of the past, but also for the suffering she still endures now.