‘Blackmailer threatened ex with sharing sex video’, jury told

A blackmailer threatened to send a sex video of his ex-partner to her friends family and bosses, a jury was told.

Ben Solomon, aged 35, said he would share the film of the two of them unless she paid him £150, a court heard.

He never sent out the video but is later accused of repeatedly choking her until she lost consciousness.

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The woman told Plymouth Crown Court that she was “petrified” that Solomon would release the video.

She said: “This is something I had never been through before. I just could not think straight, I was terrified to be honest.”

The complainant later told the jury that Solomon said he would “watch the blood drain from her body” while choking her.

Solomon, of Trevorder Close, Torpoint, has pleaded not guilty to demanding money with menaces in February last year.

He has also denied assaulting the woman causing actual bodily harm on April 12.

Ben Solomon is accused of blackmailing and assaulting his ex-partner
Ben Solomon is accused of blackmailing and assaulting his ex-partner
(Image: PlymouthLive)

Sally Daulton, opening the case for the prosecution at his trial, said: “This case is about the defendant behaving appallingly towards his girlfriend at the breakdown of their relationship, first by blackmailing her, then by assaulting her.”

She added that the woman, whom PlymouthLive is not naming, ended the nine-month relationship on February 6 last year.

Miss Daulton added that three days later Solomon started asking for £150 which he had spent buying her a jacket and trainers.

The barrister said that she had understood that these had been gifts.

She added: “He said that if she did not give him the money by 9am the following morning he would send videos of the two of them having sex together to her employers, friends and family.”

Miss Daulton said he insulted her and claimed she had “treated him like s**t” in the voice messages,

She added that the woman found it particularly distressing because he had previously told her that he had deleted the videos.

The court heard that Solomon phoned his ex-partner to apologise.

But the barrister said that the woman opened her work emails on February 16 to find that Solomon had made similar threats and attached copies of the videos.

Miss Daulton said police were informed and the defendant admitted sending the messages.

She added that in March the woman said she wished to withdraw her complaint to the police.

Miss Daulton said: “She said she was struggling with her mental health, had just started a new job and wanted to move on and did not want the stress of proceedings hanging over her.”

She added that the pair resumed contact and Solomon visited her city home on April 12, despite her asking him to stay away.

Miss Daulton said that he started to abuse her, refused to leave and snatched her phone she she tried to call her father.

Ben Solomon leaving Plymouth Crown Court, where he denies blackmail and assault
Ben Solomon leaving Plymouth Crown Court, where he denies blackmail and assault
(Image: PlymouthLive)

She added: “He threw her on to the bed and then held her head to the floor, putting his hands around her throat and squeezing.

“She struggled to get free as he shouted abuse in her face.”

Miss Daulton said that Solomon choked her a further three times over a couple of hours and at one stage she passed out.

The court heard she was left with bumps to her head, grazes to her arm, a scratch to her face and bruises all over her body.

The woman, giving evidence from behind a screen shielding her from the dock, said after receiving the voice messages she felt “emotionally broken”.

She added that she was on antidepressants but started seeing him again.

The complainant said that he turned up drunk at her home late on April 11, despite her urging him to stay away because she was tired and not feeling well.

She added that she eventually went to bed and he fell asleep at her home.

The woman said that Solomon was angry and abusive the next morning and attacked her time and again.

She added that in between the attacks as she tried to get away Solomon would become emotional, telling her that he loved her.

The court heard that she attempted to leave but he grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the floor.

The witness said: “I was terrified, someone who loved me would not do this to me. He would pull on my heartstrings and as soon as I asked him to leave he would change, like Jekyll and Hyde.

“He was choking me, he said he would watch the blood drain from my body.”

The trial continues.

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