$60,000 blackmail bid admitted

August 9, 2017 | By More

A man has admitted the $60,000 blackmailing of a man he called a paedophile, and posting comments on social media groups about him.

Brett John Sargisson, 37, pleaded guilty to charges of blackmail and causing harm by posting a digital communication in the Christchurch District Court.

The Crown summary of facts says the victim, who has name suppression, was visited by Sargisson who discussed alleged historic sexual abuse on another person, and demanded $60,000 or he would report him to the police.

The man reluctantly agreed to pay $40,000 in September 2016, and signed a “contract” saying that upon payment there would be no police involvement and the matter would be closed permanently.

The man found a note on his car in January 2017 from Sargisson saying that he was losing patience.

The victim went to the Police and laid a complaint of blackmail.

In February Sargisson was talked to by the police and given a warning about his conduct.

The next day Sargisson sent the man a message threatening to disclose the sexual assault allegations to the victim’s employer, and other associates.

When there still hadn’t been a payment by March 2017, Sargisson posted messages on at least five social media groups saying that a known paedophile was soon to be prosecuted, and to “watch this space” for historical sexual offences.

Judge Bridget Mackintosh remanded Sargisson on bail for sentencing on November 13. She asked for a pre-sentence report, and a report to assess his suitability for home detention.

Judge Mackintosh also referred the case for a possible restorative justice meeting.

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