Peterborough blackmailer Shaun Wheeler has been jailed for more than two years. He used blackmail and threats in a bid to recover a debt. Wheeler, 33, of Allexton Gardens, Peterborough, was owed £490 but the victim could not afford to pay until the end of December.
Wheeler demanded the money on 16 December by the following day and tripled the debt to £1,500 when the victim failed to pay.
He threatened to visit the man’s home and “flatten” him, adding that he didn’t care about his family and wasn’t scared of the police or going to prison.
He demanded the man get him his money within two hours by either robbing a post office, stealing from his own family, or selling his children’s Christmas presents.
The man managed to repay the £490 on 20 December but Wheeler then asked where the extra interest was. Wheeler’s victim promised to pay this the next day, but no further contact was made between the pair.
Wheeler was later arrested but denied blackmailing the man. However, he was charged with the offence which he pleaded guilty to.
He was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court today (6 February), where he was handed two years and three months in prison. Wheeler was also given a five-year restraining order, preventing him from contacting his victim in any way.
DC Lloyd Davis, who investigated, said: “Wheeler’s behaviour was menacing and unfair.
“His victim was left genuinely scared for his safety, and that fear remains today even now Wheeler is behind bars.
“The man has been left scared to answer his door or go outside after dark. I hope the sentence imposed gives him some closure and serves as a warning to others about how seriously both the police and the courts take blackmail.
“I would urge victims of blackmail to come forward to police. As this case demonstrates, we will do all we can to bring those responsible to justice.”