There are many types of addiction that can affect people, and all have the potential to cause devastating consequences for the addict and those closest to him or her. Most just assume that addiction refers to substances such as drugs or alcohol, but gambling addiction is a growing problem here in the UK as well, and this illness is one that can have far-reaching consequences. Not only is the person with the addiction negatively affected, but so too are family members, friends and even strangers.
The trouble with addiction is that it can change the behaviour of the person affected to such an extent that he or she will do things they probably never thought themselves capable of. Those who are struggling with addiction will often become manipulative and selfish in a bid to get their hands on the thing they crave. With a gambling addiction, it will usually be money with which they can feed their habit.
Hamza Din resorted to extreme measures to fund his habit, thinking that it would be a good idea to blackmail champion boxer Amir Khan. Described as ‘spectacularly inept’, Din contacted the management company representing Khan and said he had a sex tape of the boxer with a girl in a Newcastle hotel room. Din stated that the company could prevent the tape from being released by stumping up the same amount of cash that it could fetch from media outlets. He described the video as ‘100 per cent real’ and said that if he did not get a response, he would release the tape.
The management company immediately contacted the police and told them of the email demands before they even approached Khan to tell him of the incident. It was revealed in court that there was no tape and that there could not have been such a tape. It was also revealed that Din never specified the amount of cash he was expecting for the non-existent tape.
Din, who suffers from mental health problems and a gambling addiction, pleaded guilty to one count of blackmail and is likely to spend time in prison. However, Mr Khan did request that the court takes Din’s mental health issues into consideration before passing any sentence.
Din sent the email to Mr Khan’s management company in March 2016 using a fake account in the name of Harry Dean. However, it was not long before the email was traced back to his own account and he was arrested in June 2016. Prosecuting lawyer Timothy Greenald said, “The Crown say that while no figure was mentioned, the court may infer that a significant sum was in prospect, bearing in mind the profile Mr Khan has. The intention may have been to recover a fairly significant sum. The material never existed, but damage to Mr Khan’s reputation and charity work could have been caused. They involve false allegations of a sexual nature.”
Din’s blackmail attempt was described as ‘spectacularly inept’ by his own barrister, Simon Myerson QC, who also added, “It involved a new e-mail account to the same IP address as his home. There was no such video. The incident to which he made the threat did not occur.”
A statement by Mr Khan, which was read out in court, explained that while he and his family had not been ‘overly affected’ by the incident, he did not want others to be put in a similar situation in the future.
Mr Myerson QC said that the actions of Din were out of character, and added, “This was not a significant attempt to extort any money. He is truly remorseful. This offence will not be repeated. The factors behind the offending, the gambling and mental health issues, are now in the open.”
A gambling addiction is often referred to as a ‘secret’ or ‘hidden’ addiction. There are no outward signs of a problem, and many gamblers can feed their habit while sitting in the same room as loved ones, without anyone knowing what they were doing.
This is largely thanks to the explosion of online gambling sites as well as the fact that all you need to gamble these days is a mobile device with access to the internet and a bank account with funds. Nevertheless, when it comes to a gambling addiction, it is necessary to have constant access to cash, which most people simply do not have.
When funds run out, many gambling addicts will become desperate in their attempts to access cash, just as Hamid Din did. An affected person will often resort to extreme measures to find the money he or she needs, and many will convince themselves they will pay it back as soon as that next win comes along. Nonetheless, this rarely happens as most gamblers never get the win they are expecting while those who do usually plough the money straight back into funding their gambling.
Source: Boxer Amir Khan blackmailed by ‘spectacularly inept’ gambling addict over sex tape that never existed (Mirror.co.uk)
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