A male prostitute has been jailed after he blackmailed a married Cambridge don into giving him £6,000 by threatening to tell his wife about their affair.
Philip Ellis, 26, blackmailed the married academic after he paid him £40 for sex and £10 to perform other sexual acts in secluded woodlands.
He later turned up at the Cambridge University tutor’s home after claiming he had mobile footage of their affair and demanded more cash.
Homeless Ellis, who is a drug user and university drop-out, admitted blackmail and was jailed for 30 months at Cambridge Crown Court on Thursday.
Judge Jonathan Haworth said: ”It is about as unpleasant an offence as this court has come across. It was planned, devious and it was deliberate.”
Ellis, from Haddenham, Cambs., was paid £10 to perform a sex act on the married academic at Paradise Woods, Cambridge, in Spring last year.
Two weeks later the male prostitute was paid a further £40 for full sex.
In April last year Ellis blackmailed the Cambridge scholar into giving him £4,000 after threatening to tell his wife and son about their affair.
After receiving the cash the homeless drug user claimed he had compromising mobile phone footage of their affair and received a further £2,000.
On June 12 last year Ellis appeared at the academic’s home and his victim suffered a collapsed before confessing to his wife and contacting police
Sara Walker, prosecuting, told Cambridge Crown Court that Ellis met the academic at a well-known gay cruising spot in Newnham, Cambridge.
She said: ”He said he knew who he was and knew he was married. The defendant told him he knew his wife’s name and some details about his son.
”The victim then met the defendant in St Mary’s Street and handed over £200, saying he could not withdraw £3,800 because the cash machine would not let him.
”He later went to the bank and withdrew #3,800 and handed it over.
”On June 12 the victim saw the defendant coming up the drive and the victim became unwell and suffered some form of a collapse.
”He told his wife what had happened and the incident was reported to the police.”
Ellis was arrested on October 21 after he tried to punch a college gardener during an altercation in Manhattan Drive, Cambridge.
In February this year he pleaded guilty to one count of blackmail at Cambridge Crown Court and admitted he had spent the 36,000.
Oliver Renton, mitigating, said Ellis’ life took a ”spiral downwards in a catastrophic manner” after his brother died in 2007.
He said: ”He began consuming cannabis and his family fell apart. He was a young homeless man, penniless and destitute and struggling to come to terms with his sexual identity.
”In that context of chaos he took these opportunities which were presented to him.
”Money was exchanged after it was explained that Mr Ellis was in a desperate state. The victim took pity on him.”
Ellis also admitted charges of drug possession and assault after police found 29 wraps of an illegal worming drug worth £200 in his car.
However, Judge Haworth gave Ellis no separate punishment for these charges.