Ipswich: Pair jailed over blackmail plot

A MAN was blackmailed into handing over more than �900 after a young mother and another man pretended she would come to harm if he didn’t pay up, a court has heard.

Deena Ford, 22, and Paul Adams, 29, came up with a plan to get money out of the victim by telling him she would suffer “serious consequences” if he didn’t pay Adams �1,500 she owed to him, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

The victim of the plot eventually handed over �950 and a knife was used to back up the demands, said Robert Sadd, prosecuting.

Adams, whose address was given as c/o Roundwood Road, Ipswich, and Ford, of Shakespeare Road, Ipswich, both admitted two offences of blackmail on February 1 and 2. Adams also admitted possessing 12 wraps of heroin worth �120 with intent to supply and possessing an offensive weapon.

Adams was jailed for a total of 27 months less 248 days he has spent in custody and Ford was jailed for 22 months less 110 days she has spent in custody.

Sentencing the pair, Judge John Devaux said they had been involved together in a planned operation to get money out of the victim and a knife had been used to back up the blackmail.

“You both enthusiastically took part in carrying out the plan,” said Judge Devaux.

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Mr Sadd told the court that Adams had offered to co-operate with the prosecution in relation to Ford’s involvement in the blackmail offences and had provided a statement.

Ford has subsequently been charged with two offences of blackmail and had pleaded guilty on the basis that the offences had been Adams’s idea. Steven Dyble for Adams said had it not been for his client’s willingness to incriminate Ford she would have escaped justice.

Mr Dyble said Adams claimed the blackmail offences weren’t his idea.

He said the drug offence related to Adams supplying known fellow users with heroin in return for getting heroin for himself at a discounted price.

Roger Thomson, for Ford, said she had become involved in the offences because she had debts.

He said no threats of violence had been made to the victim of the offences.

“Not a great deal of thought was put into it. It wasn’t very sophisticated,” said Mr Thomson.