Blackmailer rues her actions
Angie Wilson cries herself to sleep wishing she had not blackmailed a man before he killed himself.
She has been called a murderer, lost friends, received threats and also contemplated taking her own life.
"It's ruined my life," she told The Press yesterday.
"Everyone's going to hate me. I'm never going to be able to get a job again without being judged."
Speaking publicly for the first time since she was arrested, Wilson, 19, said she was ashamed of what she had done and acknowledged that threatening text messages she sent to a man contributed to his death in 2012.
She apologised to his family and advised other teenagers to "stop and think" before making the same mistake.
"I'm really sorry for what has happened. I never knew the consequences of what I was doing at the time," Wilson said.
"It was just a wee mistake that's turned into something massive and it's changed my life forever."
She was 17 when she met the 40-year-old man, who has name suppression, and started a relationship that involved payments in exchange for oral sex.
She felt guilty when she found out he had a partner and "freaked out" when she thought she would not get money he had promised her.
During a four day-period, she sent text messages threatening to expose their relationship. She texted: "I'm only 17. It will look bad." She demanded $3000.
The man told his partner and then killed himself the next day. Later, one more text arrived from Wilson: "Make sure there's 4K in there tomorrow or I'll tell everyone you are a dirty old man."
Wilson pleaded guilty to a charge of blackmail and was sentenced to 10 months' home detention and 100 hours' community work during a hearing in the High Court at Christchurch last June.
Name suppression was lifted this week and since then she has received threats and has disabled her Facebook account.
Yesterday, she told The Press: "I wanted to be his friend and I wanted to keep getting the money so I went along with it."
When she was told she would not receive money she had been promised "I just simply freaked out and started being a b.... not realising this was going to happen. I should have asked for help."
Wilson hoped the public and the victim's family would be able to forgive her.
Wilson's mother said she was disgusted at her daughter's actions but believed she was young and naive and deserved a second chance.
At Wilson's sentencing it was revealed she had tried similar blackmail on another man a few months earlier. He had made a complaint and she received a police warning.