A BLACKMAILER who tormented a Bury man and made endless demands for money over a nine month period has been jailed.

Gary Galvin, with Kelly Marshall and Seamus Conroy, tormented a man and his brother and extracted more than £12,000 from them.

Minshull Street Crown Court heard a man,referred to only as Mr M got in touch with a Facebook account with the name of Katie Marie. He gave his home address to the user and it was agreed they would meet.

But before this could take place he was messaged and asked for money to allow the woman to get there. He transferred £60 but was met with more requests for funds and he sent more.

The court was told Mr M never met the woman in question but then began to receive threats via Facebook. He was told if he did not pay his house would be visited and he would be attacked.

He was left in fear as he lived with elderly parents. There were also threats to crush his pet dog.

When Mr M blocked one account another would appear, with 10 eventually contacting him.

He incurred debts and got his brother, referred to only as Mr C, to try and help him. Eventually the pair went to Bury Police.

Galvin, then living in Ashton-under-Lyne, was behind the messages. Bank accounts he used belonged to Marshall, his partner, and payments were also made into one belonging to Conroy.

John Richards, prosecuting, said: “Mr M made transfers of £4,590, Mr C made transfers of £7,147.

“There were over 90 transfers between January and September 2017. Kelly Marshall got £11,932. Conroy received £400.

“Mr M describes massive strain on himself and his family. He described being worried and on edge the whole time. He and his brother have been financially ruined as a result of these offences.”

Galvin, 36, now of Ocean Walk, Manchester, admitted two counts of blackmail against Mr M and Mr C. Marshall, 27, also from Ashton, admitted assisting Galvin to blackmail the two men. Conroy, 33, from Brinnington, Stockport, admitted acquiring criminal property.

Max Saffman, for Galvin, said the offence took place some time ago and Galvin had “addressed problems he has in relation to mental health” in that time.

For Marshall, Robert Kearney, for Marshall, said his client was “under the control of Mr Galvin” and had not reoffended since.

Henry Blackshaw, for Conroy, said he was “not naïve” about the money he had taken but said his involvement was only late on.

Passing sentence, Judge Mark Savill said of the victims: “They did not feel even though they had done nothing wrong they could go to the police. A significant sum of money had been extorted, in excess of £12,000.”

Galvin was jailed for 32 months, Marshall was given a 20-month suspended prison term with 30 rehab activity days and Conroy was given a curfew.