Sordid blackmailer who posted naked pictures of Manchester student on Facebook escapes jail

By Glen Keogh

The deranged blackmailer who posted naked pictures of a Manchester student on Facebook when she refused his sordid demands has escaped jail.

William Wooles, 20, had earlier pleaded guilty to two offences of blackmail and two offences of computer misuse at Manchester Crown Court.  

Today he was given suspended sentences for his crimes, ordered to complete 150 hours community service, a restraining order not to contact victims – and told to destroy his laptop.

His ‘disgusting betrayal of two girls most private moments’ began when he hacked into the email accounts of  the Manchester student, 20, and told her he had found ‘interesting’ things on her account and wanted more intimate images.

The photos were in her sentbox as she had sent them to her then-boyfriend.

As Wooles’ messages arrived as spam, the victim missed them, and a third message, from May 22 last year, said: Sorry, this could have been avoided if you just sent me what I asked for.”

When she looked at her Facebook account she saw a number of naked pictures of her on her profile page.

Police traced Wooles, of Great Dunmow, Essex, back to Leeds University, where he studied, via his IP address.

After he was arrested at his halls of residence, he admitted hacking another woman with threats to blackmail her in the same way if she didn’t send him intimate videos of herself.

On this occasion, the threats weren’t carried out.

Detective Constable Ian Wrench, from Longsight CID, said: “We can all imagine the emotional damage, not to mention embarrassment, of having private images posted all over your Facebook page from loved ones and friends to see.

“Thankfully, the first victim had the bravery to not suffer in silence and come and speak to us.

To avoid similar cases happening again, the police are advising people to be careful when choosing online passwords.

“Wooles worked out people’s passwords via open source information that was available to anyone on the internet,” DC Wrench added.  

“Everyone needs to be aware that security question answers are sometimes easily guessed and it is imperative that people use the highest standards of care when choosing passwords.”

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