Home detention considered in blackmail case

Last updated 10:44 14/02/2014

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Sentencing of an Auckland man who tried to blackmail two women into sending him nude photographs has been adjourned so home detention can be explored.

Hayden Doug Spike Needham appeared in the High Court at Auckland this morning but his sentencing was adjourned after Justice Ailsa Duffy ordered reports on the suitability of home detention.

The fact he resided on Great Barrier Island was a further complicating factor.

The court heard last year that Needham sent text messages to a 17-year-old woman in 2011.

He created a fictitious persona, called "Adam" and in time built a relationship of trust with his victim by sending her a fictitious photo of himself.

The victim was then duped into sending him naked photos of herself not knowing that they were actually being sent to Needham, whom she knew.

Needham later pretended to be a third person, called "Chris", and texted the girl saying he'd got hold of "Adam's" laptop on which her nude photographs were stored.

He then threatened to upload the nude photographs on to Facebook unless she sent more.

In July 2012, Needham then preyed on a second woman who had recently moved out of the apartment below his the court heard.

He did not know the victim but "decided he liked the look of her".

When the victim and her boyfriend moved out of the apartment, the pair stored their belongings in a lock-up unit on the property.

Needham was tasked with getting rid of what they left behind, and while digging through their belongings found an unmarked disk.

He then put the disk into his computer and found that they contained more than 60 images of the victim and her boyfriend. Among the images, which were private, were photos of the woman posing in lingerie when she was aged 16.

Needham deleted all but the photos of the victim in her lingerie, the court heard.

He then tracked down the victim on Facebook and created a fake profile, using an image of her in underwear as his profile picture.

Needham sent the victim a private message saying: "Do you recognise my photo, we should talk."

When the victim opened the message, she responded: "Who the f**k is this?".

Needham then told her, without revealing his own identity, that he had a laptop containing nude images of her.

He told the victim he thought she was "stunning" and asked for more photographs, threatening to post the images he already had on to 10 different websites, the court heard.

The victim then contacted police.

The sentencing was adjourned to April 11.

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