A SUCCESSFUL businessman has been jailed after he threatened to upload intimate pictures of a woman on Facebook.

Gareth Ashley Wilson, 38, who runs two businesses in the Wrexham and Llangollen areas had threatened to maker her "an internet sensation".

Wilson, who runs A.W.Renewables Ltd and A.W. Property and Lettings, was said to be drinking too much and spending £300 a day on cocaine, set about humiliating the woman by sending intimate images and videos to a Whatsapp group and made the threats to post sexual images on Facebook.

Prosecuting barrister Simon Mills said that by that stage he had already posted some images, although it was not possible to say how many people had accessed them.

He sent her abusive and threatening messages and warned that if she did not ring him then he would "jump off a bridge" and "make her an Internet sensation", telling her "call me now or naked photos of you will go on Facebook".

He posted two more images on a WhatsApp group he created with a couple of friends and also threatened to post images on Llangollen Noticeboard; a site set up to exchange local information and news. A further threat followed that if she tried to get him arrested, he said there "would be murder" and make a claim that he had uploaded images to a pornographic website.

Wilson was arrested by the police last August and although making some admissions, claimed that other images had been uploaded in

error, which Mr Mills said that simply could not be true given the number of nature of them.

At the time of the offences, Wilson was living in Llangollen, but had since been living in a caravan in Llanrug, near Caernarfon, as part of his bail conditions.

Jailing him for a period of 21 months, Judge Rhys Rowlands said that it was "a truly appalling case" where Wilson had sought to control and bully his victim. A five year restraining order was made - he is not to approach the victim or past any images of her online.

The Judge questioned Wilson's remorse and told him that he could easily have been charged with blackmail and making a threat to kill.

He had been a hard worker, a successful businessman running two companies, but he said that could not be used "as a shield" for very serious and protracted incidents of bad behaviour, bullying and seeking to intimidate her.

He said: "She was being blackmailed into doing what you wanted her to do.

"It is truly appalling and deeply concerning."

In a victim impact statement, the woman told how she was left "feeling numb and stressed" and was struggling to understand why he had done it. It had a huge impact on her, her family and friends and left her requiring therapy. She had been left "distraught" at the prospect of him sharing images of her.

She said: "I have been through every emotion."

Wilson, who had previous convictions for five offences for violence and public order, had since undergone work with a psychotherapist and while he had previously seen himself as a victim, now appreciated that he was to blame, said Paul Abraham, defending.

His behaviour "was inexcusable", he said.

One of Wilson's businesses had employed 14 people full time and two sub contractors. He had also acquired a portfolio of properties and also ran a lettings agency.

Mr Abraham said: "He had been working long hours for many years but the pressures became too much to bear. It became harder and harder for him, he started to

drink more and more and eventually started using illicit drugs as well.

"It had a negative effect on his life and on his behaviour."

There had been "a downward spiral" and "his life fell apart" and it was accepted that his conduct got worse and worse.

Mr Abraham added: "He may have seen himself as the victim but he denied the reality of the situation and his conduct. He now realises he was the source of all the difficulties."

Wilson, he said, was determined to try and get back to the man he once was and suggested a suspended sentence because of the potential effect on his companies if he was jailed.

The judge rejected suggestions the sentence should be suspended and Wilson must also pay costs of £1000.