NHS worker Patryk Hrymak, 27, has been sentenced to two years and four months behind bars after he blackmailed eight Grindr matches by threatening to send their nude images to family and friends
Patryk Hrymak, 27, whose job involves drawing blood from patients for diagnosis, will spend two years and four months behind bars after pleading guilty to eight counts of blackmail, two counts of disclosing private sexual photographs with intent to cause distress, in November last year.
The Croydon University Hospital employee would sent nude photos to the men, encouraging them to do the same, before demanding money in return for not sharing the explicit images in an attack one man described as ‘cyber rape’.
His victims included a banking auditor, private bank’s IT boss, university admissions officer, project manager and several student nurses.
Sentencing him to a lengthy spell behind bars yesterday, Croydon Crown Court Judge Deborah Charles told tearful Hrymak: ‘As a man who says he was bullied over his sexuality as a youth you were well-placed to appreciate the consequences of gay men being ‘outed’ when it was not something they wanted to do.
‘Yet, you contacted these victims on Grindr and sent naked photographs of yourself to build up rapport.
Sentencing him to a lengthy term behind bars yesterday at Croydon Crown Court, Judge Deborah Charles told tearful Hrymak that he should have been able to appreciate the consequences of gay men being ‘outed’ as ‘a man who says he was bullied over his sexuality as a youth’ (Pictured: Hrymak outside Croydon Crown Court)
The Croydon University Hospital employee would send nude photos to his victims to encourage them to do the same before demanding money
‘You encouraged them to send naked pictures of themselves to you and blackmailed them by threatening to send the pictures to their family and friends.
‘This has had a significant impact on your victims and blackmail is regarded as a nasty offence.’
Using the alias ‘Thomas’, Hrymak continued communicating with the men via Facebook, Instagram and other social media, giving him access to their contacts.
‘He would ask to borrow small amounts, of money, thirty, forty or fifty pounds, which they all refused and then threatened to pass on the naked photos he obtained,’ said prosecutor Shekinah Anson.
‘To back this up he sent screenshots to prove he still had the images, plus screenshots of the victims’ online contacts.’
Phlebotomist would demand money in return for not sharing the images online. (Grindr logo)
Hrymak met and had sex with the banking auditor, who gave him £20, but refused any more when blackmailed. He said the ‘traumatic’ episode left him ‘scared and afraid’.
The IT boss suffered panic attacks as a result and says he felt ‘sick to my stomach’ and ‘nauseous’ at having naked pictures sent to two female friends, describing the ordeal as being ‘cyber raped’.
The openly gay project manager said the blackmail was an attempt at a return to the attitudes of the 1950’s when shame of sexuality could be exploited.
One victim did transfer £110 to Hrymak. ‘He paid that out of fear these pictures would be sent to family and friends,’ added Ms Anson.
‘He is ashamed of his actions,’ said Chris Johnston, defending, adding Hrymak, a respected employee at Croydon University Hospital, fell into £7,500 debt financing an expensive cannabis habit.
‘He was not motivated by desire to ‘out’ these people, but just to send the naked images.’