- Zulaika Bibi set up a profile on SingleMuslim.com to find herself a victim
- Bibi, 21, convinced her online suitor to hand over £6,900 in a 'cyber honey trap'
- She asked her victim to send her explicit photographs during their courtship
- Bibi received a suspended jail term and was ordered to repay her victim
A single mother who posed as a lonely heart on an Islamic dating site to extort money from a Muslim man looking for a wife walked free from court today.
Zulaikha Bibi, 21, used a false name and fake promises of marriage to lure the besotted victim into sending her cash plus intimate pictures of himself.
Over a two month period, the unnamed man - who is in his 20s - paid a total of £6,900 to Bibi after she said she need the cash to pay rent arrears plus a flight to Pakistan where she claimed her her grandmother was seriously ill.
The man eventually became suspicious about Bibi and said no more money was due - but she vowed to expose him and threatened to distribute the explicit pictures to his devout Muslim family.
He called police when he realised he had been the victim of a 'cyber honey trap' scam but later refused to give a further personal statement about the impact on his life - for fear he would bring shame on his relatives.
Bibi was tracked down and later repaid £1,100.
A Manchester Crown Court she pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and blackmail but escaped with 18 months jail suspended for two years after it emerged she was the primary carer for her three year old daughter.
The court heard the scam began on July 25 last year after Bibi, of Beswick, Manchester set up a fake profile under the name 'Marion Bhukari from Chorley' on the dating website SingleMuslims.com
Prosecuting, Duncan Wilcock, said: 'The complainant joined SingleMuslims.com and soon after engaged in conversations with Marion Bhukari who gave him an address in Chorley.
'While speaking on that website, discussions took place about a longer relationship and he believed that they were working towards a long term relationship.
'It's now conceded that Marion Bhukari was this defendant. She asked firstly whether the conversations could take place on WhatsApp so that her family wouldn't be aware of them.
'There was mention of love and marriage between both parties. But then the defendant began to make requests for money, saying that she had, for example, rent arrears.
'So the defendant provided him with bank details and he put £200 in. She asked for further payments saying her grandmother was ill in Pakistan and asking for money for flights out there.
'Over a few weeks, he paid in the region of £6,900 towards requests made by this defendant. Then, the complainant made a final payment on September 18 last year and he told the defendant, at that stage, said that would be the last payment he was going to make.
'It was at that stage that the defendant became aggressive and said that she wanted more money from him, and said that if he didn't she would send sexual photographs to his family of the complainant pleasuring himself.
'Rather than respond as the defendant wanted him to do, he contacted the police. As a result of that, it was established through bank statements that the defendant was responsible and her true identity was revealed.
'It would appear that the defendant got in touch again and told the complainant that repayments would be made. Once the police became involved, he was asked not to take further payments.
'I have not got a specific figure of what the defendant was repaid but it's about £1,100. The defendant was interviewed. Once the bank statements had been received, she appeared to make further denials, saying she didn't blackmail the defendant.
'The complainant was asked to provide a victim personal statement, but he has declined to do so. I would say on his behalf that he would find himself in trouble with his family and community.'
In mitigation defence lawyer Ronan Maguire, said: 'She is the primary carer for her three year old daughter and she is concerned about what will happen to her. The concerns have been raised as a consequence of this process, but prior to this there was no concerns by social services.
'The child is currently in the care of her father, but she is concerned about what will happen - she doesn't want to be away from her three year old child. Perhaps her best mitigation is her guilty plea and the fact that she has never been in trouble before.'
Sentencing the judge Mr Recorder Thomas Ryan said: 'You created false details to start an online relationship with a man but with the intention to obtain money. You did it because you were in debt.
'It was sophisticated and a man was targeted by you and you got just short of £7,000. When he said that you would no longer get money from him, you threatened to send sexual pictures to his family. These pictures were on Snapchat so it was a hollow threat, but he didn't know that.
'You deliberately targeted a victim who was vulnerable because he believed your lies and was into a false intention of love and marriage. You carries it on for months to get money on a drip. It's a serious case which crosses the custody threshold but I also consider that you are only 21 and this is your first offence. You are a single mother and you have had a difficult background.
'You are sadly in debt and I give you credit as you have attempted to repay some of the money to the victim. So, I will not be sending you to prison today.'
Bibi was also ordered to pay £5,500 in compensation to the victim and complete 100 hours unpaid work. She was also banned from contacting the victim for two years under the terms of a restraining order.
MailOnline has approached SingleMuslim.com for comment.