Havant man fined for blackmailing pop star

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A MAN who tried to blackmail his pop-star ex-girlfriend has been fined £10,000.

Nicholas Jeffries, 41, of Orchard Road, Havant, was spared jail after he admitted threatening to give explicit pictures of his former lover to the News of the World unless she paid him £50,000.

Isleworth Crown Court was told that the blackmail attempt happened after Jeffries discovered the victim had previously dated an international film star.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had a two-year affair with the actor. Jeffries met the vocalist through the internet dating website Match.com in November.

But he became jealous of her previous lover and began scouring the internet for information about her past.

Then when the relationship ended he demanded money and threatened to sell pictures of the two of them to the press.

Prosecutor James O’Connell said: ‘He stated he had been in contact with the News of the World and they were very keen to meet.’

Defence counsel Fern Russell said the incidents had been fuelled by anger after a row and Jeffries had not intended to go through with the threats.

Judge Andrew Johnson said blackmail was ‘very nasty’ and usually attracted a lengthy prison sentence.

But he said he was prepared to suspend a 50-week sentence for two years provided Jeffries paid a £10,000 fine, did 200 hours unpaid work and did not contact the victim again.