'Cynical and vicious': Tamara Ecclestone's ex gets four years for blackmail


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The Independent Online

A former boyfriend of Tamara Ecclestone has been sentenced to four years in prison for an "audacious" attempt to blackmail her for £200,000.

Derek Rose, 33, who dated the daughter of Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone in 2002, targeted the socialite and model almost a decade after their relationship ended acrimoniously with an email threatening to reveal personal details about her. But Judge Andrew Goymer at Southwark Crown Court said that Mr Rose's attempt to extort money from the 28-year-old was "not the product of a broken heart".

Of his earlier decision to sell his story about their time together to a tabloid newspaper, Mr Rose was told: "That speaks volumes about your true character."

Handing down the jail term to Mr Rose, the judge said that it was only after seeing Ms Ecclestone on a reality TV show in 2011 that she "came to your attention again" and he decided to threaten to reveal personal details. "No doubt you thought that £200,000, which is a large sum to most people, would be small change to somebody with the amount of money that she and her family are reputed to have," said Judge Goymer. "You also thought that for this reason they would readily part with it to buy your silence. She did not do this."

Ms Ecclestone's lawyer, Charlotte Harris, said the heiress welcomed the sentence having waived her right to anonymity to help protect others from such "cynical and vicious behaviour".

The jury failed to reach a verdict on co-defendant Jakir Uddin, 20, a media student from Birmingham. The prosecution is considering whether to seek a retrial of him.