Mother guilty of blackmailing ex-lover

A MOTHER-of-two has been found guilty of blackmailing a married teacher days after he broke off their ten-year affair.Rupa Parke, 48, wrote to former Kyson Primary School deputy headteacher Roger Bridgeman warning him that unless he paid her £3,000 she would tell Jacqueline, his wife of 26 years, intimate details about their relationship.

A MOTHER-of-two has been found guilty of blackmailing a married teacher days after he broke off their ten-year affair.

Rupa Parke, 48, wrote to former Kyson Primary School deputy headteacher Roger Bridgeman warning him that unless he paid her £3,000 she would tell Jacqueline, his wife of 26 years, intimate details about their relationship.

During the trial at Ipswich Crown Court, Parke, of Nelson Way, Woodbridge, had denied blackmailing Mr Bridgeman, now a numeracy teacher at Hollesley Bay Prison, in January this year.

After the verdict was announced, Judge David Goodin immediately moved to rule out a custodial sentence, telling Parke: “I have no intention of depriving you of your liberty.


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“There would normally be an immediate sentence of custody because it's usually a wicked crime, but in this particular case, it seems to me it would not be right for you to face prison.”

Earlier in the trial, it emerged that Mr Bridgeman had ended the affair by way of a letter after his daughter Sarah found intimate photographs of Parke, once a family friend, on his digital camera.

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Parke responded by sending a letter back on January 30, four days later, claiming that, even though Mrs Bridgeman knew about the affair, she could “still make her (Mrs Bridgeman) upset”.

The letter continued: “I can put you in the doghouse. If you want to avoid making this trouble you have to pay me £3,000 before the end of February”.

Prosecution counsel Jamie Saywer told the jury that Parke also threatened to pass cards and details of intimate text messages to Mrs Bridgeman.

One of the text messages contained the line “hot curry, hot lips” and “great curry, personal touch”.

Mr Sawyer said: “This is a woman who is clearly making threats to reveal extra information on their affair. She knew Mrs Bridgeman did not know everything.”

During cross-examination, Mr Bridgeman told the court he had agreed to pay Parke £500 for flights to her native Sri Lanka, but rejected the notion he had promised to give her the £3,000 she had demanded.

The court was told Parke, previously of good character, earned £490 a month as a cleaner, but had frequent financial difficulties.

Defence counsel Marie Dineen argued that Parke's letter was born out of her anger at being dumped and being dubbed a prostitute in another letter written by Mrs Bridgeman.

Parke will appear in court again on August 31 for sentencing after a pre-sentence report is carried out.

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