1. ITV Report

Cleaner jailed for £20,000 blackmail of elderly man with false sexual assault threat

A cleaner who blackmailed an 85-year-old man by threatening to tell police that he had sexually assaulted her has been jailed.

Linda Thomas was jailed for 18 months. Credit: Wales News Service

Linda Thomas, 62, from Cardigan, forced the man to pay her over £10,000 and asked for a second amount after falsely accusing him of sexual assault.

His bank staff became suspicious about the large withdrawals and raised the alarm with the police.

Judge Walters said Thomas, who maintained her innocence despite the verdict of the jury, had not shown any remorse or desire to repay the money.

She was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

You grossly abused this man's confidence in you.

You took advantage of a vulnerable, elderly gentleman who had never shown you anything but kindness.

You realised he was likely to agree to your request for fear of being labelled a sexual predator.

But for the care that Lloyds Bank staff showed you would have got away with receiving £20,000 and what you did would have forever remained a secret.

– Judge Geraint Thomas QC