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Wrexham man who blackmailed ex-partner is jailed

Published date: 13 May 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A MAN has been locked up after he threatened and blackmailed a former partner.

Ricki Roberts, 32, accosted his victim outside a Wrexham primary school and assaulted her.

He demanded £400 or threatened her family would “get it”, a court heard yesterday.

Roberts said he would start with her grandmother, then the victim’s house, and then her car.

The victim was so scared she was sick – and got £400 off her grandmother to hand over to him.

When arrested and charged, Roberts wrote to her from prison telling her to drop the charge.

The victim now wanted him out of her life, said prosecuting barrister Matthew Dunford.

Roberts, of no fixed abode but formerly of Monger Road in Hightown,Wrexham, denied perverting the course of justice and blackmail and a trial was due to be held.

But he changed his pleas to guilty shortly before the trial was due to start and was jailed for 26 months at Mold Crown Court.

A life-time restraining order was made not to approach the victim, her mother or her grandmother.

He admitted he made an unwarranted demand of £400 in September of last year, although in his basis of plea he claimed he was owed the money, and of perverting the course of justice between October and November by phoning her and writing to her to persuade her to retract her complaint.

Judge Niclas Parry said over 15 years Roberts had committed offences of menacing and threatening violence.

They included two previous offences of witness intimidation and a serious arson.

Within a short period of being released from prison, he blackmailed a former partner into handing over £400. He threatened violence and injured her outside a school where other mothers and teaching staff were present.

They were serious threats of violence against loved family members and his victim knew from his previous convictions what he was capable of.

True to his nature, he set about trying to persuade her to withdraw her complaint and influence the administration of justice.

He waited until the day of trial to plead guilty and probably hoped she would not have the courage to turn up to give evidence against him.

Reginald Mills, defending, said his client had lost the only good thing he had in his life.

The relationship came to an end because of his alcohol and drug use.

The restraining order was not opposed – Roberts now accepted it was all over.

He wished to complete his training as a carpenter and had a positive outlook for the future.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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