Words: STeve Browt
A man has been jailed for blackmailing a closeted married man who he tried to extort money from.
Benjamin Muskett, a father-of-two from Chester, plotted to seduce married men and blackmail them for money while he was in a hospital earlier this year, according to records from Chester Crown Court.
He would use dating apps to meet different men but it is not known how many men he tried to blackmail.
But one of his victims was a 51-year-old closeted married man, who was referred to as Mr X in court documents.
The two arranged to meet for sex in September and Mr X travelled to meet Muskett in a car park of a Co-Op.
Muskett got out of his car and into his victim’s and they drove to a country lane.
Mr X – who is married to a woman – performed oral sex on Muskett, who is reportedly in a relationship with a woman.
A few days later, Muskett demanded his victim pay him £5,000 in cash and if he didn’t, a video of them together would be uploaded to a website.
Mr X then contacted the police and Muskett was arrested where he confessed to blackmail but said he was bluffing about the video as no footage was found.
During the court proceedings, Muskett’s lawyer said he did it out of desperation and love for his family.
He said: “He was on benefits and felt unable to provide for his family. He’s a fully qualified plumber.
“In the cold light of day he realises how stupid he’s been and apologises unreservedly to Mr X.”
However, the judge sentenced Muskett to three years in prison and said the crime was “planned and deliberate”.