Fantasist jailed for blackmailing women with secretly-recorded sex tapes

Fantasist jailed for blackmailing women with secretly-recorded sex tapes

A predatory fantasist has been jailed for eight-and-a-half years for blackmailing Muslim women using intimate films he took of them without their knowledge.

Farhan Mirza, 38, who has been married four times, secretly filmed the women and threatened to share the footage online before demanding money.

He pretended to be a doctor, hung surgical scrubs in his wardrobe and carried a stethoscope in his car in a bid to impress the women, some of whom he met online.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the father-of-one was in fact a taxi driver living with his mother in a terraced house in Abertillery, South Wales.

Mirza was convicted of two charges of voyeurism, three of blackmail, theft, fraud, and two charges of sexual assault following a trial at the court.

Judge Tom Crowther QC described Mirza's actions as "a pitiless scheme" and said he had shown "contempt" for the three women he targeted.

"Each of them was looking for a long-term relationship or marriage and in each case you led them to believe you were open to that in order to lure them into a sexual relationship," the judge said.

"You photographed two of the women without their knowledge - one during sex and one after.

"You led the third believe you had taken intimate photographs. You threatened release of photographs into the world.

"The fear of exposure of unguarded and private moments is a universal one.

"There is, however, an additional factor at play here. Each of these women was Muslim by faith and by heritage.

"Each of them knew the consequences of these films being released was devastating."

One woman told the jury her liberal family, who do not live in the UK, would disown her and she feared for their safety if the films were made public.

Fantasist jailed for blackmailing women with secretly-recorded sex tapes

Mirza was introduced to his first victim through a member of his family. He claimed to be an IT consultant and repeatedly lied to her.

During the course of their relationship, he went to Pakistan and secretly married another woman.

The judge said the woman later looked on Mirza's laptop, where she was horrified to discovered films of her during sex.

In addition to the footage, Mirza had copies of her ID passes, her academic degrees, her passport and her contacts book.

When she asked him about them, he became angry and said they were "to keep a woman like you in your place".

He added: "You think you are the only one? I click my fingers and women are on their knees in front of me."

Mirza told her he kept a "track record" of all the women he was intimate with.

He forced her to pay for shopping trips, Christmas presents and stole her laptop.

While extorting her, Mirza joined dating website shaadi.com, which describes itself as the world's biggest match-making website.

He met his second victim in London, where he attempted to pull off her hijab in public and groped her, telling her "it's your fault because you're attractive".

The court heard Mirza tried to persuade the woman to have sex with him, claiming he could cure her previously diagnosed fertility problems by doing so.

He promised her a £25,000 ring and demanded £3,500 as a "down payment" for a motorbike in return.

"The turning point came when you phoned her and told her you were standing looking at the Ka'bah in Mecca," the judge said.

"At that stage you asked her to have sex with you before marriage. She was grossly offended."

He later threatened to "make her famous" with naked photographs he had taken.

The third victim also met Mirza on the dating website. He pretended to be a doctor and met her in a borrowed Mercedes, wearing a stethoscope.

Mirza blew kisses to the public gallery as he was led away to begin his prison sentence of eight-and-a-half years.

The judge praised the three women in the case, describing them as "determined, fearless and resolute".

"These were strong, dignified and powerful women whose courage in facing you down was an example," he told Mirza.

Speaking after the case, Pc Pat Maguire of Gwent Police - who was commended by the judge - said Mirza had shown no remorse for his crimes.

"Mirza made his three victims believe he was wealthy and looking for marriage," he said.

"He created a fake profile on a dating website, posing as a doctor, to lure in two of his victims. He gained their friendship and trust and then exploited the relationships for his own personal gains.

"Mirza purposefully targeted women from a culture where honour is held in high regard and used this to strengthen his threats and make them feel more vulnerable and alone."

PA


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