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Client avoids prison after pleading guilty to Blackmail

Non-custodial sentence - no prison
28 April, 2022

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Case study summary

Our client pleaded guilty to Blackmail, an offence which normally leads to a prison sentence. He was terrified about the prospect of losing his home and job so came to our specialist lawyers. We persuaded the judge that this was an exceptional case and our client avoided prison.

Case study

Our client was a vulnerable man who had, two years ago, been in a very difficult place. To his credit, he had managed to turn his life around. He got a job, found stable accommodation and stopped drinking. This was all put at risk when he was charged with an offence that he was said to have committed two years ago.

He had been charged with blackmail. The prosecution said he had sent various threatening messages to his former landlord's family demanding money. There was overwhelming phone evidence to support this and the client pleaded guilty as a result.

This case was exceptionally challenging as the law makes it clear that Blackmail is a serious offence that should result in an immediate prison sentence. The client also had a large number of previous convictions. These would make it more likely that a judge would send him to prison. The client knew how difficult his situation was and contacted our specialist criminal lawyers.

To overcome this, we had to show how our client's case differed from other cases of Blackmail. We also needed to emphasise the great improvements our client had made in his life and that it would not be right to send him to prison. We hand-selected a barrister who had the experience and ability to get this message across to the Judge.

After hearing our arguments, the Judge agreed that our client should not go to prison. Instead, he was given a suspended prison sentence and unpaid work.

The client's employment and accommodation have not been affected and he was able to continue to rebuild his life.

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