A man from Headstone who blackmailed his victim into handing over £7,000 in cash has been jailed for two years.
Mital Shah, 23, of Cunningham Park, was found guilty on three counts of blackmail at Harrow Crown Court on Thursday, 12 March. He was sentenced on Friday, March 13 at the same court to two years’ imprisonment. Shah and the victim were friends when in September 2010, he asked to borrow several hundred pounds from her, which she agreed to. However, he continued to ask her for money and within the space of two weeks she had transferred £2,700 into his account. Shah’s request for money stopped when the victim told him she had given him all of her student loan. Between 2010 and 2013 the victim constantly tried to get Shah to repay her, but he ignored her requests. In September 2013 the victim again asked Shah to pay her back and on this occasion he said he would need £200 to release her money. The victim didn’t have full amount to give him but handed over £100 believing this would help. Despite this agreement, she still didn’t receive the money she was owed, instead transferring a further £4,800 into Shah’s account in December 2013 after receiving several alarming texts messages from him threatening to burn her house down, kill her family and kidnap her brother. Shah continued to bombard the victim with menacing threats to her and her family and believing him capable of carrying out these threats, she finally reported the matter to police in December 2013. Shah attended Harrow Police Station in January 2014 and was arrested on suspicion of blackmail. He was later charged in June 2014 with blackmail. Detective Constable Janine Stevenson said: “I am pleased that Shah has been found guilty and that justice has been done for the victim. Shah’s threats towards her and her family were extremely worrying and caused them a great deal of distress.”