Man jailed for four years for blackmail plot in Bedford


A Bedford man who hatched a bizarre blackmail plot has been jailed for four years.

Satpul Kumar-Rai walked into a small grocery store in the town in February last year and claimed there was a DVD in existence which showed the shop's owner with a prostitute.

Kumar-Rai who was said to have "cut a menacing figure" dressed in a long coat and cap and claimed the woman's Croat controllers were angry that she had been deported because of her activities with the businessman.

He then said they were planning to put copies of the DVD through the letter box of local residents unless the man came up with £30,000.

The claim was completely bogus but 42-year-old Kumar-Rai from Oldfield Road in Bedford went on to say he was acting as a middle man for the Croats who he described as "bad people".

Luton Crown Court heard the shop's owner was having none of it and the matter was reported to Bedfordshire Police.

As a result, Kumar-Rai appeared in the dock having been earlier convicted by a jury earlier of one charge of blackmail.

Passing sentence, Judge Michael Kay told him, "This was blackmail for a substantial amount of money and threats of violence were made."

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