Boy blackmailed girl, 14, over topless video

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 March, 2011, 12:00am

A former Australian International School student has admitted that he blackmailed a 14-year-old female schoolmate after posting a video of her topless on the internet.

Luke Pickering pleaded guilty at Kowloon City Magistracy yesterday to blackmail and obtaining access to a computer with a view to dishonest gain for himself or another.

He was acquitted of two other charges by magistrate Ronald Cheung Wai-tat after a plea deal and was remanded in custody. Sentencing was adjourned to April 7. The 17-year-old is also awaiting sentencing after a conviction for assault in the same court two weeks ago.

The court was told that Pickering, who was 15 at the time, threatened to beat the girl up unless she undressed in front of a webcam. He used his mobile phone to film her undressing.

He twice asked the girl for HK$1,000. After paying the first time, she ignored his second request, believing the film had been deleted.

After a classmate saw the footage on YouTube, she called the police.

In mitigation, Pickering's lawyer Ody Lai said her client was very remorseful after the incident. 'He was expelled from school and has lost all his friends,' she said.