A GANG of fraudsters who blackmailed a married father who arranged to meet a man for sex, ordering him to hand over £40,000, have been jailed for a combined 18 years.

The East Lancashire man had been in bed with Kamar Ilyas, who he had met using the social media application Grindr, when Aman Khan and Khalil Chaudhry came bursting into the room recording them with a mobile phone.

The victim, who Preston Crown Court heard was a “respectable married man”, was then told by the intruders that the person he was in bed with underage.

Ilyas, who is in fact a “young looking” 32-year-old, was in on the plot and had set up the meeting in a bid to exploit the man.

The trio then embarked on a campaign of terror against their victim, driving him around East Lancashire for around three hours as they made demands for £40,000 – warning him that they would tell his wife of his meeting with Ilyas if he didn’t comply.

Asian Image:

Kamar Ilyas

They also continued to intimidate him by repeatedly claiming that Ilyas was underage.

Throughout the ordeal Ilyas made out as though he too was being forced into acting in the way he did, claiming that Khan and Chaudhry were his uncles and placing him under pressure for finding him in such a situation.

After several torturous days the man called the police and informed them of what had happened.

Prosecutor Sara Haque told the court that at this stage Khan and Ilyas had already been arrested in relation to a separate similar incident which had taken place in Manchester around three months beforehand.

On that occasion Ilyas had posed as a male escort online before arranging to meet with a father-of-six. The pair then went to a hotel in Manchester where they had sex, with the victim paying £120 for the meeting.

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Aman Khan

They then met on a second occasion, when Khan was stationed outside of the hotel, taking pictures of the man entering the hotel.

The victim was then threatened with leaks of the information and pictures on social media and to his wife. Eventually he called the police when Ilyas sent him a picture of the outside of the business.

In mitigation for all three men barristers told the court that they were all married and with their own responsibilities.

Khan and Chaudhry were both of previous good character while Ilyas has several convictions for unrelated previous offences.

He was also in breach of a suspended sentence order when he committed the offence.

Presiding over the case, Judge Simon Medland QC said: “It is clear blackmail is to be regarded as an offence which is nasty, ugly and vicious.

“It is very serious. It is, in some cases, akin to robbery. Offending of this kind justifies an element of deterrence in the sentence.

“Also, in cases where – as here - there are threats to disclose embarrassing or discreditable conduct, that may make the matter more serious because of its shattering effect on the victim and because by its nature it tends to discourage victims from reporting such crime.”

Asian Image:

Khalil Chaudhry

Addressing the defendants, Judge Medland QC continued: “It is clear from the facts of both cases that you exploited the sexual vulnerability of both victims and their private lives.

“Further, you did so knowing both men were from communities where homosexual acts were impermissible.

“In the Preston (East Lancashire) case you threatened the victim that what he had done with Ilyas was paedophilia and you accused the victim in the Manchester case of that too.

“In the Preston case your victim was threatened that what he had done with Ilyas was ‘haram’ – forbidden by Muslim religious teaching and law.

“That same victim was effectively held hostage in his underwear in the room whilst he was repeatedly abused and threatened and humiliated.

“It is clear each one of you knew, to a syllable, what part you were playing and acted together closely. The episode in the bedroom which was filmed is a very serious aggravating feature.

“Your actions were planned, ruthless and deliberate; they were wicked. They brought terror to the lives of your victims. You expected them to secure significant amounts of money for yourselves.”

Ilyas, 32, of Lomeshaye Road, Nelson, was jailed for six years and three months and Khan of Milton Street, Nelson was jailed for six years.

Chaudhry of Basnett Street, Burnley, was jailed for five years and eight months for his involvement with the East Lancashire case.

Please note: It is a criminal offence to name or identify the victims in this case and anyone who does faces being charged with contempt of court.