Portsmouth woman faked kidnap, rape and death threats to get money from University of Portsmouth student in 'shocking' blackmail

A WOMAN posed as her own kidnapper telling a ‘trusting and gullible’ friend she would be raped and killed if he did not send a £500 ransom.

By David George
Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 9:23 am

Manipulative Lucy Holland, 22, pretended to be ‘Michael’ when she sent her friend menacing messages that said: ‘You have an hour to do £500 or she dies and I film it.’

Holland spent two years befriending a student from the University of Portsmouth, asking him for money to pay for transport and items for a friend’s baby – but was actually using the money to binge on drugs and alcohol.

Holland successfully cheated him out of £2,720 in the longrunning scam before faking her own kidnap.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Lucy Holland, 22, pleaded guilty to fraud and blackmail at Portsmouth Crown Court on Friday, September,18

While with friends on September 28, 2019, Holland sent a message to the man pretending to be a kidnapper, saying she would be killed if £500 was not transferred to her account.

Holland also used makeup to mock up fake bruising on her face, sending photos of this to her victim, who then contacted the police out of fear for her safety.

But fearing for Holland’s life the friend called police – who uncovered the ‘disgraceful’ truth.

Now Holland, of Lucknow Street, Landport, has been jailed for 16 months at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Lucy Holland was jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court. Picture: Hampshire police

Read More

Read More
Five people remain in police custody after woman, 19, is raped in Buckland

Prosecuting, Jenny Burgess said: ‘Holland has been friends with the victim for two years, and started asking him for money about six months into their friendship.

‘On the night in question, he received one text asking for £200, followed by a text saying “This is Michael. I have kidnapped your GF (girlfriend). I have her phone and need £300 to let her go our I will kill her” and after further threats he sent the money over.’

Further texts on the night led the victim to believe her death would be filmed and published online.

Another message, not read out in court, said she would be raped if he did not pay.

Ms Burgess added: ‘She claims the two friends she was with sent the messages, but that is not accepted.

‘When the allegation of blackmail was made she laughed and commented she “didn’t think she could get done” for that.

‘Apparently she felt bad every time she asked him for money, but he was an easy target because he was so trusting and gullible.’

Shaking and sobbing in the dock, Holland admitted fraud and blackmail on Friday.

The court heard Holland’s parents were paying back the cash, and if she was spared prison she would find work to fund the repayment.

But as she stood wide-eyed and trembling in the dock, judge David Melville QC said nothing had explained Holland’s ‘completely disgraceful’ actions.

Addressing her, judge Melville said: ‘You dressed yourself up as somebody being hurt and portrayed it in pictures to him.

‘You had him believe that you were being seriously harmed and extorted – without any justification and I find it to be a shocking offence.

‘You abused a friendship and once you had tapped him a couple of times, he was your target.’

The judge added that the money transferred was a ‘substantial’ amount, particularly for a university student.

Holland was sentenced to 16 months for the blackmail and eight months for the fraud to run concurrently.

Mitigating, Daniel Reilly said: ‘She’s faced difficulties with anxiety from an early age.

‘She had issues with bullying and that left her vulnerable, and she found herself being drawn to other children with challenges – she very much lost faith with the system.

‘Between the ages of 15 and 18 she was also in a difficult, controlling relationship. After that, the drinking and the drugs became her main problem.

‘On this occasion she made a bad decision that spiralled out of control.’

She must pay £2,070 in compensation within 15 months.

Looking for the latest updates on Portsmouth court cases and crime? Join our Portsmouth Crime Facebook group to keep up to date.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Thank you for reading this story. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues.

The News is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news and information online.

Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.