Sex worker sentenced on blackmail charge

An Invercargill sex worker blackmailed a former client, threatening she would expose him to his employer, friends and family if he did not pay her.

Courtney Joyce Goomes (23) was sentenced yesterday in the Invercargill District Court on a charge of blackmail.

Judge Russell Walker took a compassionate approach as he said she had shown "significant change in her life".

The summary of facts stated that after Goomes provided sexual services in exchange for money, she contacted recipients via social media or phone to demand additional money to "keep quiet about the service she has provided".

Some recipients paid the money to keep her from going public.

However, one of her clients complained to police after she tried to do the same with him.

Almost a year after they last met, the man started to receive text messages from the woman pretending to be someone else.

She outlined details of his status, occupation and history of paying for sexual services and threatened she would release the private information if he did not pay her $700.

During the hearing yesterday, defence counsel Paige Noorland told the judge about the turnaround of her client, saying she had family support and was engaging with community organisations.

Judge Walker said she seemed to be "currently on a good track," cutting all people from her life who were taking her in the wrong direction.

His sentencing was to encourage and support the path she was taking.

He sentenced her to four months of community detention and 12 months of supervision.

"I’m looking forward to not seeing you back."

luisa.girao@odt.co.nz

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