Northern Ireland

Man to stand trial accused of attempting to blackmail women into providing sex images and videos

Belfast Magistrates' Court.
Belfast Magistrates' Court

A Belfast man appeared in court on Tuesday charged with trying to blackmail 16 women into providing sexual videos and images.

Christopher Morrow is accused of targeting the complainants as part of a four-month online campaign.

The 27-year-old, of Rochester Road in the city, was ordered to stand trial for the alleged offences.

Morrow faces 16 counts of blackmail and two further charges of harassment and possessing an extreme pornographic image.

It is claimed that he made unwarranted demands with menaces for sexual images or videos from the women on dates between January and April last year.

During a preliminary enquiry hearing at Belfast Magistrates’ Court Morrow confirmed that he understood the charges against him.

No further details about the alleged offences were disclosed.

Morrow declined when asked if he wanted to give evidence or call any witnesses at this stage in the proceedings.

Defence solicitor Hamill Clawson did not contest submissions by a Crown lawyer that his client has a prima facie case to answer.

Granting the prosecution’s application, District Judge Steven Keown told the accused: “You will be returned to Belfast Crown Court on a date to be fixed.”

Morrow was released on bail under a condition that he must not contact any of the alleged victims.

Judge Keown also gave approval for two defence barristers to represent him at trial, citing the seriousness and complexities of the case.