Mid Wales

Linda Thomas jailed over £20,000 blackmail of man, 85

Linda Thomas Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Thomas denied blackmail in October 2015 but was convicted last month

A woman who blackmailed an 85-year-old man by saying she would accuse him of rape has been jailed for 18 months.

Linda Thomas, 62, from Cardigan, forced the man to hand over £10,000 and asked for a second amount after falsely accusing him of sexual assault.

Police were called in after the man explained to bank staff what was happening when they became suspicious.

Swansea Crown Court heard he had become a recluse, fearing he would be branded a sexual predator in his community.

Thomas was jailed on Monday. A jury found her guilty during a trial last month.

The court was told she made the blackmail threat while doing laundry and other domestic chores for the man.

Judge Geraint Walters told her: "You took advantage of a vulnerable, elderly gentleman who had never shown you anything but kindness.

"You realised he was likely to agree to your request for fear of being labelled a sexual predator.

"But for the care that Lloyds Bank staff in Cardigan showed you would have got away with receiving £20,000 and what you did would have forever remained a secret."

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