Blackmailing thug is jailed
Date published: 15 August 2014
A VULNERABLE Oldham mum was repeatedly threatened with violence by a thug demanding cash, a court was told.
The 44-year old supermarket worker who suffers from a debilitating illness which affects her memory and concentration, was so terrified that she handed over more than £700 over a period of just over a month.
Drug addict Damian Jackson (25) subjected her to a campaign of fear, constantly turning up at her Oldham flat — and even confronting her at the Tesco store where she worked, threatening to cause trouble for her.
He forced her to withdraw money from her bank account, alleging that he was being threatened by a loan shark owed money by her son, who also has health problems.
Jackson, of Welton Walk, Werneth, was jailed for a total of seven years after pleading guilty to six counts of blackmail, along with two robberies involving taxi drivers.
The court had been told Jackson had known full well of his victim’s vulnerability, but continued to pester her even after police had become involved.
He paid regular visits to her home — on occasions twice a day — threatening she and her son would be badly hurt unless she gave him cash.
A 16-year old youth involved in two of the visits with Jackson, was sentenced to two years detention after admitting three counts of blackmail.
Sentencing the pair, Judge Leslie Hull said: “Offences of blackmail are by any standard mean and depraved.”
The judge said an “incomprehensible feature” of the case was that Jackson having been once arrested in connection with allegations of blackmail, was bailed, and almost immediately began re-offending.
He said the amount of money taken from the victim “does not begin to describe the trauma that you put this unfortunate woman through by your threats towards her.”
The first of the two robberies was on February 7 when taxi driver Farouk Ali had a knife held to his throat and was told: “I’m going to kill you. Give me your money.”
Jackson, together with an unknown accomplice — both hooded and armed with knives — got away with a £300 mobile phone, £70 in cash and a satnav.
Five days later in what was virtually a repeat operation, taxi driver Mohammed Ashraf was robbed of £200.
Jackson was arrested for the robberies after his fingerprints were found in one of the vehicles.
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