Man faces jail for blackmail

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A MAN from Bury St Edmunds convicted of blackmail has been warned he may face prison.

Anthony Duncan, 43, of The Beeches, had pleaded not guilty to the offence but was this week found guilty by jury at Ipswich Crown Court.

Duncan was cleared of a second offence of intimidation, to which he had also pleaded not guilty.

The court heard that Duncan admitted assaulting a 22-year-old man on August 5 when he appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court. He was fined £95 and ordered to pay £85 costs and £100 compensation to his victim.

Duncan had gone downstairs at his partner’s house to ask a group of noisy young people to be quiet.

A man who answered back was chased and pushed to the ground by Duncan.

Prosecutor Robert Sadd said it was alleged that a week after the attack Duncan had confronted his victim suggesting that he should go to the police station to drop the charge against him.

It was also alleged that on September 2, Duncan arrived at a house in Toper Lane, Bury, and asked for a ‘quick word’ the victim, demanding that he hand over money to cover the cost of what the court had ordered him to pay.

Duncan claimed that when they first met following the assault they had apologised to each other. He strongly denied any intimidation.

He also denied asking for money and said he had told the man that while he had been fined by magistrates the matter was ‘all done and dusted’.

Judge Peter Fenn told Duncan he would continue to be granted bail until he returns to court in the week commencing March 26 to be sentenced and that an immediate prison term was a possibility.

Judge Fenn ordered the preparation of a pre sentence report by the Probation Service.