Man blackmailed on dating app Grindr with threats to leak nudes over £50

Brave Charley Jarrett, 34, from Streatham, London, has spoken out after a stranger threatened to leak nude pictures of him from the dating app Grindr, unless he transferred £50

Charley has bravely spoken out about his experience to raise awareness
Charley has bravely spoken out about his experience to raise awareness

The victim of a serial blackmailer was left feeling scared and ashamed after being told to transfer £50 or risk having his nude images leaked to all of his friends and family on Facebook.

Charley Jarrett, 34, hit it off with Patryk Hrymak, now 29, on the Grindr app and they decided to exchange nude photos, as well as their mobile phone numbers back in 2018.

Charley from Streatham, London, said it is not uncommon for men to do this on the matchmaking app for the LGBT community.

But after his match began asked for Charley’s Facebook details, Hyrmak suddenly turned and demanding money, or threatened to leak Charley’s naked photos to his friends’ list.

In August 2019, Hyrmak of Norbury Crescent, SW16 was jailed for two years and four months at Croydon Crown Court.

He was convicted of eight counts of blackmail and two counts of disclosing photographs and films with intent to cause distress against a string of victims including Charley.

Recalling his experience in 2018 to MyLondon, Charley said: “He said he was interested in coming over.

Patryk Hyrmak was jailed for attempting to blackmail a string of victims online


Met Police)

“I thought I recognized myself, so I asked for my phone number to chat on WhatsApp. ‘Fine, it’s easier to chat there,’ I thought.

“We chatted more, and he asked to look me up on Facebook.”

Half an hour later, Charley received an unusual message from his match, asking to borrow £50.

But when Charley refused, the online beau turned sinister.

Charlie explained: “I said I was a bit broke, so no.

“He then said well ‘how about if you give me £50, I won’t send all your naked pics to all your Facebook friends.

“I googled what to do and it said, ‘if it’s happening right now, call 999’.

“I went through the police the lady on the phone was lovely.

“She said either ignore him, say you’ve called the police, or block him.”

Thankfully the blackmailer lost interest in Charley after he stopped replying and his nudes were not leaked.

But the following day Charley said that he felt victim-blamed by a Metropolitan Police officer who came round to take a statement.

Charley insists he won’t let this experience stop him from being liberated online

As they discussed the events of the previous night Charley claims that the officer said: “Wow, stop there why would you send him nude photos?”

The officer then added it was not a “normal” thing to do, Charley alleged.

“I said it was a normal thing on Grindr,” Charley added.

“It felt like I was being victim-blamed, and he was being oblivious.”

The rest of Charley’s experience with the Met Police was far better.

On the phone and on emails, the police “became lovely again”.

They called him up, updated him on the case and told him when they finally apprehended the blackmailer.

As well as Charley, Hrymak’s victims included an auditor, an IT boss, a university admissions officer, and several student nurses.

Not all of them had come out to their friends and families, adding additional terror to their experiences.

In his victim impact statement, Charley said: I’ve been using the internet to meet other men for well over a decade and I have always considered the internet an important medium for LGBT young people like myself to meet each other.

“It made me sad and unnerved to have been the victim of someone who has set out to make online LGBT platforms a less safe space…

“The thing about this ordeal that leaves me angriest, most upset and most afraid is that there are still people out there who believe they can make gay men live a 1950s life of fear and shame and I shouldn’t be made to feel like that.” .”

Detective Constable Keval Varia, investigating, said: “The victims in this case were contacted via a male only dating app, however anyone using any form of online dating service, should be wary of sending intimate photographs of themselves.

“Think carefully about what you share with people online.

“I hope that the sentence handed down brings a measure of closure for the victims.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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