Jilted lover's blackmail bid - court

A SUFFOLK mother who had a ten-year affair with a married teacher tried to blackmail him after he ended their relationship, it has been alleged.Rupa Parke, 48, wrote a letter to Roger Bridgeman - a former deputy head at Kyson Primary School in Woodbridge - threatening to reveal details of their affair unless he paid her £3,000, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.

A SUFFOLK mother who had a ten-year affair with a married teacher tried to blackmail him after he ended their relationship, it has been alleged.

Rupa Parke, 48, wrote a letter to Roger Bridgeman - a former deputy head at Kyson Primary School in Woodbridge - threatening to reveal details of their affair unless he paid her £3,000, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.

Parke, of Nelson Way, Woodbridge has denied blackmailing Mr Bridgeman in January this year.

Jamie Sawyer prosecuting told the court that Mr Bridgeman was a middle-aged married man who had been married to his wife Jacqueline for 26 years.


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For ten years he had an affair with Parke, who had been a family friend.

In January Mr Bridgeman's daughter Sarah found intimate photographs of Parke stored on her father's digital camera and Mr Bridgeman confessed to having an affair with Parke to his wife.

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Mr Bridgeman agreed that he would write to Parke ending the affair and Mrs Bridgeman had accompanied her husband when he posted the letter through Parke's front door, said Mr Sawyer.

He told the court that during the course of their relationship, Mr Bridgeman, who teaches numeracy at Hollesley Bay Prison, had given Parke money and prior to the end of their relationship had agreed to give her money towards a trip to Sri Lanka.

Four days after Mr Bridgeman ended the affair, Parke had sent him a letter threatening to tell his wife details of their affair unless he gave her £3,000.

Mr Bridgeman took the letter to Woodbridge police and Parke was arrested.

After her arrest Parke claimed that Mr Bridgeman had promised to pay her £500 for her airfare to Sri Lanka and to give her £500 spending money for the trip. She claimed he'd also promised to give her £2,000 to pay off her debts.

She told police she was angry and disappointed at the way she had been treated by Mr Bridgeman.

Giving evidence Mr Bridgeman told the court that he had given Parke money during their affair, including £300 for a previous trip to Sri Lanka.

He said that prior to the end of the affair he had agreed to pay the £500 cost of her air fare to Sri Lanka for a niece's wedding and had planned to give her the money the day after he confessed to his wife about the affair.

Mr Bridgeman said he realised he had acted “dishonourably” by having the affair with Parke.

However he felt that Parke had been “rubbing salt in the wound” and trying to cause his wife more anguish by threatening to reveal details of their relationship if he didn't give her £3,000.

Cross examined by Marie Dineen, Mr Bridgeman agreed that if his daughter hadn't found the photos he would probably have continued having the affair.

He said he had found Parke attractive and had been infatuated with her. However he said he'd always told Parke that his family came first.

He denied offering to give Parke £3,000 and said he couldn't have got his hands on so much money on his teacher's salary.

Mr Bridgeman admitted that the affair with Parke had started while he was working at Kyson Primary School, where Parke's daughter had been a pupil.

Asked by Miss Dineen what the school governors would have thought of their deputy head having an affair with the parent of one of their pupils, he said: “They would have been very upset”.

He denied a further suggestion from Miss Dineen that if his wife hadn't found out about the affair he would have given Parke “the £3,000 he had promised her”.

The case continues.

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