Dorset

ID theft victim's life 'ruined' by explicit images

Graeme Brandon Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Graeme Brandon was jailed for 30 months at Bournemouth Crown Court

A Royal Marine whose identity was used by another man to send indecent images to women said the impact of the crime on his mental health cost him his job.

Steele Saunders' identity was used by Graeme Brandon to send images to women across Dorset via WhatsApp.

Mr Saunders said he received violent threats and had his car vandalised by people who believed he was responsible.

Brandon, 43, was jailed for 30 months at Bournemouth Crown Court after admitting 29 charges.

Both Mr Saunders and his wife left their jobs and, consequently, had to move home.

In 2017, dozens of women reported receiving explicit images from a WhatsApp account bearing Mr Saunders' photograph.

Mr Saunders, 38, who heard about the messages from a friend, said colleagues and acquaintances immediately assumed he had been caught cheating on his wife and his denials were an attempt to cover it up.

Image caption Mr Saunders said he was frustrated Brandon's guilty plea meant he did not have to explain his actions

He said: "The threats were the worst. We got chased off Poole Quay with my family.

"My wife was a nursery teacher. People were starting to talk and saying 'do I really want a possible pervert's wife looking after my kids?'

"She had to hand in her notice and leave - it was really difficult for her."

Brandon had downloaded the photos of Mr Saunders from Facebook.

At last week's court hearing, he admitted 28 offences of sending an indecent communication and one of unauthorised access to computer data.

But Mr Saunders said he was frustrated Brandon's guilty plea meant he did not have to explain his actions.

He said: "It destroyed everything - our home, where we live, everything for the kids - their school.

"It's had a massive tsunami effect. It's completely ruined me."

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites