Pair alleged to have blackmailed royal are denied bail by judge

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The Independent Online

A man charged over an alleged blackmail plot involving a member of the royal family was refused bail yesterday.

Lawyers representing Ian Strachan, 30, applied for bail at the Old Bailey but it was turned down by Mr Justice Gross.

The hearing had been due to take place in private, but was opened to the press following legal representation by media groups.

A previous application last week was adjourned after a few minutes because the lawyers needed more time to prepare.

Strachan, who is in custody at Belmarsh prison, was not at the hearing.

Strachan, of Chelsea, west London, and Sean McGuigan, 40, are jointly charged with blackmail.

They are due to appear at the Old Bailey on December 20 when an indictment will be put to them.

They are charged with blackmail contrary to S21 of the Theft Act 1968, alleging they made demands with menaces.

James Lewis QC, defending Strachan, said he was not guilty and had a defence to the charge.

The allegation centres a member of the royal family, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The victim, said not said to be a senior member of the royal family, denied the accusations and called in police after a demand for money was allegedly made.