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Tandragee woman accused of acting as prostitute and blackmailing man she had sex with

Court heard allegations defendant and co-accused threatened to send video of the man having sex to his fiancée

Armagh Courthouse

A Tandragee woman who is alleged to have acted as a prostitute before she and her partner blackmailed another male has been denied bail.

A detective constable told Armagh Magistrates’ Court that it was likely that the 22-year-old would intimidate the complainant or return to prostitution.

Lorna White, of Market Street, appeared on Tuesday via videolink from Hydebank, charged with blackmail, possessing criminal property and witness intimidation.

It is alleged that the defendant, along with her partner, had threatened to send a secretly recorded video of the man having sex with White to his fiancée.

A constable told court that bail was objected to as the injured party had been contacted by the couple who told him it was in his best interest to withdraw his case.

She added that White was not currently in employment and it was believed that she would continue to “earn a wage through sex”.

Prosecution stated the case was “well on its way to a decision” and was certain to go to the Crown Court.

Court heard that phone evidence was outstanding and that two weeks were required for an update.

Defence counsel stated that a suitable address had been found in Fermanagh, with the defendant’s sister being prepared to put up a cash surety.

He added that further interference would be “futile”.

Court heard White had spent over five months in custody for this matter and only had one previous conviction on her record for theft back in 2015.

District Judge Paul Copeland admired the counsel’s “comprehensive and thorough application” but commented, “this is an allegation of breach of confidence, fraudulent behaviour and breach of trust”.

He also pointed to the previous intimidation, which had been a breach of a previous bail condition, as he refused the application.

The co-accused, Jason Melvin Hamill, 26, of Market Street, also appeared charged with the same offences via videolink from Maghaberry.

A bail application was not made on his behalf.

Court heard that a vehicle belonging to Hamill had been seized as its high value was suspicious to police who believed defendant not to have any income.

Prosecution stated that both bank statements and phone analysis were outstanding on his file.

She added that police also wished to interview him in relation to other matters.

Both cases will return to court on November 6.

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