A MAN who stole the identity of a Royal Marine and then used it to send pictures of his genitalia to women has been jailed.
Graeme Brandon, 43, from Bournemouth was today at Bournemouth Crown Court sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to 28 offences of sending an indecent communication and pleading guilty to 1 offence of unauthorised access to computer data.
Following the sentence, Mark Gammon, senior lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service said: ‘Identity theft is an insidious crime, which has a traumatising and long lasting impact on victims’ lives.
‘Graeme Brandon stole someone’s identity and used it to send pictures of his private parts to a number of women, causing them shock and upset.
‘Not only did he cause the women to be disgusted and shocked when they received these unsolicited indecent pictures, but he also showed cowardice by using someone else’s identity.
‘This case has had a devastating impact on the man whose identity was stolen by Graeme Brandon.
‘The victim had a successful career in the Royal Marine and was about to be deployed to a foreign country when people from his community and friends started angrily to contact him saying that they had received pictures of an explicit nature.
Mr Gammon added: ‘He and his wife started suspecting family and friends as they could not understand how their pictures could have been accessed from their Facebook account.
‘Graeme Brandon’s deplorable actions had a detrimental effect not only on the victim’s career but also on his mental health. His wife’s career was also affected as well as their everyday lives, as their friends and their community thought he was guilty.
‘We hope that this conviction and sentence will bring some comfort to the male victim and his family and to all the women to whom he sent the unsolicited indecent pictures.’
Graeme Brandon accessed the Royal Marine’s Facebook account and stole data from it.
Using the victim’s picture he contacted women, sending them a picture of his erect penis, pretending that he was the man whose identity he had stolen.
The investigation revealed that Brandon obtained details of the women through Gumtree after they had advertised items to be sold.
The male victim who lived and worked in a close community said in his personal statement: ‘The thought that people were doubting me was unbearable. (…)There have been incidents when I was out with my family that people recognised my face and started shouting things like ‘Paedo’ towards me.
‘I have had my car damaged, nails in tyres and wiper blades pulled off.
‘I have had numerous threats from people who contacted me believing I was responsible and I have felt helpless in trying to clear my name and trying to convince people I was not responsible.
‘As a direct result of what has happened it is hard to put down into words the effect this had had on my life and my mental health.’