Man cleared of false imprisonment but found guilty of blackmail

Bronnagh Brannigan was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Tye Parker was convicted by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

An Essex man has been acquitted of the false imprisonment of a woman but found guilty of robbery, aggravated burglary and blackmail. 

Tye Parker, 22, of Burr Close, Harwich, was convicted of the three charges at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday, and was told by judge David Pugh that he was facing "a lengthy sentence of imprisonment". 

His co-defendant, Louie Charles, 21, of Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, was found not guilty of all the charges he faced - two counts of false imprisonment and single charges of blackmail and kidnap. 

The pair were alleged to have locked an Ipswich woman in a loft at a London home before then trying to blackmail a man she was living with. 

The woman, Minique Rivett, was allegedly denied food and water and only managed to escape when she broke out and ran to a neighbour's house for help, Ipswich Crown Court previously heard. 

The jury, of eight women and four men, found Parker guilty of blackmail, but not guilty of false imprisonment, while Charles was cleared of false imprisonment and blackmail. 

Parker also faced further charges of robbery and aggravated burglary following a separate earlier incident that acted as "a catalyst" for the other alleged offences. 

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The court previously heard how a man was driving a hired white Mercedes in Colchester on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, when a black hatchback came out of a side road and cut him off. 

The victim, who lived in Dagenham, noticed a handgun being pointed at him and three men then got out of the car and made demands that he open the door. 

He was then attacked and the trio stole an iPhone, the car keys to the Mercedes and the man's shoes. 

The victim managed to escape and was later picked up by a friend.

On his way home, he learnt that his house in Dagenham, where he lived with his family, had been broken into by three men - two of whom have not been identified. 

One of the men, who prosecutors said was Parker, was carrying a handgun, the court heard.

Boxes of Nike and Puma trainers were stolen in the burglary. 

Prosecutors said the trio found out the man's address from his driving licence in the Mercedes and made their way to Dagenham. 

Following that incident, Miss Rivett's mother, who knew Parker, was instructed to dispose of the Mercedes in London but she "failed to complete the task", Mr Brown previously told the jury. 

Miss Rivett's mother told police she was in debt with Parker over some cocaine for a "few hundred pounds" but demands were then made for £10,000, the court previously heard. 

Charles and Parker were further accused of kidnapping Laurel Aiken, who lived at the flat in Tottenham, and falsely imprisoning him at an address in Wolverhampton - but were cleared of those charges by the jury. 

Judge Pugh ordered a pre-sentence report for Parker and he will be sentenced on April 19. 

Charles was able to leave the court, and Judge Pugh thanks jurors for their service.