South East Wales

'Sex blackmail victim' feared extremists' reprisals

Farhan Mirza

An alleged victim of blackmail and voyeurism feared reprisals from ultra-religious groups like the Taliban if an intimate video of her was sent to her Pakistani family, a court has heard.

Cardiff Crown Court heard Farhan Mirza, 38, of Abertillery, Blaenau Gwent, told the woman he was a "very bad person".

He filmed her without permission and threatened to release the video if she failed to comply, jurors heard.

Mr Mirza denies blackmail, voyeurism, theft and fraud charges.

He said all his alleged victims consented to being filmed.

On Tuesday, the court heard he targeted three Muslim women because of the "terror" and "embarrassment" they would have felt.

One of them, a doctor from Pakistan, told the court Mr Mirza, who claimed to be a doctor but works at Coleg Gwent in Usk, Monmouthshire, said his mother had a philosophy degree, his father was an executive and his brother was head of security at Heathrow Airport.

Jurors heard these were all lies and his brother was a porter at the airport.

The woman said her family in Pakistan were liberal and would not harm her if they saw the video, but would disown her.

However, she said there was a fear ultra-religious groups were infiltrating the community and carrying out reprisals.

She told the court she asked to use Mr Mirza's laptop for work and discovered hundreds of pictures of naked women, including a video of herself with the defendant.

The alleged victim said she was shocked and would never have consented to being filmed.

She said Mr Mirza then admitted he was already married.

The woman told the court he became very aggressive and said: "I'm a bad person and you have messed up with some very bad guys. Just imagine if I sent the email and CC all your family members and work colleagues."

The threats affected her professional life, she added.

Cross-examining, the defence put it to the alleged victim she did not appear in one of the videos with Mr Mirza and it was another woman.

She denied this and told the jury she recognised herself.

The defence also claimed she knew she was being photographed and filmed at several times, which she denied.

The court heard the only money the defendant borrowed from the woman was £499 to pay a credit card debt, which he paid back in cash.

She denied this, adding: "I have paid so many things I can't even remember what I have paid for him."

The trial continues.

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