'You've run over my drugs': Victim gave up hundreds of pounds to Northampton blackmailer for fear of what would happen to his family
A Northampton blackmailer who coerced a man into handing over hundreds of pounds or else he "couldn't guarantee his safety" has been jailed.
Jack turner, of Whiston Road, seemingly chose his victim in the summer of last year because he appeared vulnerable and was someone he could exploit.
The victim did not know Turner when the ordeal began - but that did not stop the 27-year-old approaching the innocent man's car at the end of a Kingsthorpe street and telling him he had just "run over his drugs".
Northampton Crown Court heard yesterday (January 21) how Turner made out that the driver had just run over a package with "£1,000 worth" of drugs inside - and now he needed to pay for it.
Turner further threatened that "his boss won't be happy" if he didn't pay up.
The victim was coerced into withdrawing £100 from a cashpoint - but the next day, Turner turned up at the man's house and told him to pay another £100.
When the man said another £100 would push him into his overdraft, the court heard that Turner "got angry, gritted his teeth and said his boss wouldn't be happy." He then upped the demand to £150.
The ordeal escalated when Turner began turning up at the victim's house repeatedly. Incidents included leaving threatening notes at the house demanding cash, showing the victim a machete in a bag, and telling him his house would be "ransacked" if he didn't pay.
Only when he had handed over some £500 to the conman did the victim and his wife put their foot down by finding Turner on Facebook to confirm his identity before calling the police.
Turner later pleaded guilty to blackmail on what was meant to be the first day of his trial.
A victim impact statement read out in court heard how the victim in the case had suffered repeat panic attacks because of the scheme and feared Turner or his "boss" would turn up at his home again or threaten to harm his family.
His Honour Judge Michael Fowler said Turner's crimes stopped just short of out-and-out robbery.
He said in sentencing: "You selected someone who had no reason to be a target, other than he must have displayed some indication that he would be vulnerable to your schemes.
"Your schemes involved repeated contact with him and it has left him distressed and clearly has had a serious impact on his life."
Turner was jailed for three years. Additionally, he was handed a restraining order preventing him from living within a quarter-mile of the man's house or even visiting his street for another five years.