Blackmailers warned they could face jail

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: Archant library.

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: Archant library.

Two “heavy handed” debt collectors from Suffolk who have admitted demanding money with menaces have been warned they could be jailed when they are sentenced next month.

Before Ipswich Crown Court today (Friday) were James Tibbenham, 28, of Pembroke Avenue, Woodbridge, and Edward Van Bishop, 26, of Little Horsey Park, Capsea Ashe.

They both admitted an offence of blackmail by making an unwarranted demand for money with menaces on January 10 this year.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, described the case as “heavy handed debt collection”.

Adjourning the case for pre-sentence reports Judge David Goodin said blackmail was rightly regarded as one of the most vicious offences to come before the courts.

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“It is a foul offence normally dealt with by severe custodial sentences,” said the judge.

However, he said the offence committed by the defendants was at the lower end of the scale and they could receive suspended sentences.

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He said the offence involved a threat of violence if payment of an alleged debt wasn’t forthcoming.

The court heard that both the men, who are in custody, have a number of previous convictions but none for blackmail.

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