Two jailed for blackmailing British royal over gay sex

May 3rd, 2008 - 2:03 pm ICT by admin  

DPA
London, May 3 (DPA) Two British men involved in a gay sex blackmail plot against an unnamed member of the royal family were each sentenced to five years in jail by a court in London. Ian Strachan, 31, and Sean McGuigan, 41, were found guilty of “demanding money with menaces” in their attempt to expose the royal by threatening to sell tape recordings in their possession to the press.

The sum involved was 50,000 pounds ($100,000).

The court heard that the tapes featured “scandalous remarks” by a royal employee who claimed that the married member of the royal family, who cannot be named, performed an act of oral sex on him on the kitchen floor at a party.

Strachan and McGuigan used the tapes to demand money from the royal, known only as witness A, after trying, but failing, to sell them to newspapers.

The two men were arrested in a police “sting” operation at a top London hotel in September last year.

Their convictions Friday followed a three-week jury trial at the Old Bailey Criminal Court, estimated to have cost at least 1 million pounds.

The court heard that Strachan was a “fantasist” who liked to claim he was a friend of royals and lived a champagne lifestyle.

McGuigan, a former alcoholic, had made contact with the royal’s representatives to threaten him.

“The corrosive evil of blackmail means that any sentence must have a deterrent effect,” the presiding judge said Friday.

The defendants had made “scurrilous accusations” and collected “scurrilous and salacious material” against the royal, his family and his business, said the judge.

Although the identity of the royal concerned has been revealed in overseas media, he cannot be named under British laws governing cases of blackmail.
DPA

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