A MILDURA man alleged to have threatened to release nude photos of a young woman if she did not pay him cash has been released on bail with strict conditions banning him from any social media or being in possession of a smartphone or camera.
The Mildura Magistrates’ Court was told Brenton Healey, 31, met the victim on dating website Plenty of Fish on January 6 before the pair connected and communicated on Snapchat.
A few days later, the pair sent nude photos to each other, the court heard on Friday.
The 22-year-old woman was at home alone last Saturday when about midnight she heard someone jump the fence to her property, open and close her wire door.
On moving to the front of the house, she saw the sensor light on.
The court heard the victim was so scared she hid in a closet and called 000, however she was too frightened to wait for police and drove to a friend’s house before they arrived.
Three days later, Healey is alleged to have sent the victim a message, stating he would post the photos online if she didn’t give him $1000.
After first calling his bluff, she then said she would transfer the money, however Healey stated he would accept only cash and instead asked for $500 and worn underwear, the court was told.
Healey is alleged to have told the woman to place the money and underwear in a box at a location along Regina Avenue, Cabarita, the following day.
When the woman did not reply, Healey stated if she called police he would actually “get into her house next time” – implying he was at her house last Saturday, the court heard.
The woman blocked Healey on her social media accounts before he sent her a message under a false name, saying “you made a big mistake” before demanding the money and underwear by 3pm next day.
The incident was reported to police, however the woman drove to the location and left a box containing underwear but no money. On opening the box, the court was told, Healey sent a message saying: “I’ll give you one more chance to get it right.”
The woman then placed an envelope, without any money, at the location, where it was collected by Healey in a four-wheel drive before police pounced and arrested him.
A search of Healey’s phone revealed a locked folder containing multiple photos of women, including some taken at a supermarket and the riverfront.
Healey was granted bail on Friday, given there was likely to be an extended delay until the matter reached the County Court.
Magistrate Pauline Spencer placed Healey on strict bail conditions, including that he not use any social media or dating websites, not be in possession of a smartphone, camera or tablet, and abide by a curfew.
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