Blackmailer gets 10 years

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The Independent Online
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A radiographer who threatened to kill and injure guests at the Ritz hotel to back up a 120,000 blackmail demand was jailed for 10 years at the Old Bailey yesterday.

Michael Darling, 48, of Park Crescent, Hastings, East Sussex, admitted blackmail.

The court was told that in April Darling sent a letter to the Ritz, in Piccadilly, London, warning that unless the money was paid guests and staff would be killed or injured.

He arranged for the money to be left at an M4 lay-by where police arrested him after he made the collection.

Darling said he dreamt up the plot after facing financial problems keeping his family.

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