Campbeltown man found guilty over image threat

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Sheriff John Herald found a 22-year-old Campbeltown man guilty last week of threatening two former partners with the publication of intimate photographs and video.

Daniel Docherty, of 1 Flemings Land, Campbeltown, had pleaded not guilty to two offences, which took place between December 1, 2015, and December 8, 2017, at two separate addresses in Argyll.

In one, he denied behaving in a threatening and abusive way, likely to cause fear and alarm by threatening to distribute photographs. In the second, he denied causing another woman fear, alarm and distress by threatening to disclose video. Both women had been in a relationship with him on separate occasions. Full details of the charges are not given, to protect their identities.

Sheriff Herald was told that a constable and a detective constable found they were each investigating separate complaints made against Docherty and the detective officer took over the case. He told the court last week that a search warrant was granted for Docherty’s home and items including two mobile phones were seized but not examined forensically.

The court heard that both women had, in their separate relationships, shared intimate images with Docherty and he with them.

One of them had met Docherty after their relationship ended and an intimate video was made without her consent. He then threatened to send it to her new partner.

The woman contacted the police and Constable Lewis Thorpe described her as ‘visibly distraught while giving her statement’.

The other woman said she was ‘terrified’ when Docherty threatened to make images public if she did not return to him: ‘He said he would put them on Facebook. He said if I didn’t get back with him he was going to show everyone.’

Her mother gave evidence to the court saying how frightened her daughter was: ‘I wanted to go to the police but she was too scared to.’

Constable Thorpe said when he questioned Docherty about a phone Docherty said: ‘Aye, the videos are on it. She was the one filming it, you’ll see her.’

Procurator fiscal Eoin McGinty said he was seeking prosecution under the Moorov doctrine, a principle in Scottish law, that a number of offences witnessed by only one person, can be grouped together to show a pattern of behaviour and then could be used in a court case.

Docherty’s defence agent, Charles Drummond, did not call any witnesses other than Docherty himself, who said: ‘Both of us were responsible; I was filming some, she was filming some. It was consensual, definitely.’

He also accused this woman of ‘acting’ when she told the police to cover her back as he had said he would tell her new partner about them.

In the case of the second woman, he said: ‘I never made those threats. I never saved any photos.’

Sheriff Herald called for reports and will pass sentence when he sits at Oban Sheriff Court on July 30.