x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Photographer blackmailed woman with altered images, Dubai court hears

A photographer threatened to post online altered images of a woman who refused to sleep with him, a court heard yesterday.

DUBAI // A photographer threatened to post online altered images of a woman who refused to sleep with him, a court heard yesterday.

SE, 30, from Iran, approached her and offered to shoot an advertising campaign for her beauty salon, prosecutors said.

But when she rebuffed his romantic advances he threatened to scandalise her, the Criminal Court was told.

"He said he worked as a photographer and asked if I needed pictures of my centre taken, so I asked to see his work and he offered to take my picture," said the woman.

He visited her home in Jumeirah and photographed her before asking her to be in a relationship. She turned him down, saying she was married.

"He then started threatening to post my pictures [on the internet]. I assumed he would alter them first because the photos he took of me were normal," said the woman.

Prosecutors said that on July 21, 2011, he sent texts saying that he would post pictures online unless she changed her mind.

But the photographer said he sent the messages because the woman wanted to threaten someone else and asked him to create a "template" threat for her. She then used this to falsely accuse him, he claimed.

The man said he paid the woman Dh2,000 for a weight-loss programme at her beauty centre but asked for his money after they disagreed about the deal.

A verdict was scheduled for May 15.

salamir@thenational.ae