London, Oct 30 (ANI): A man in Britain has been handed a seven-year jail sentence for trying to extort thousands of pounds from an international pop star in exchange for highly sensitive photographs.
Sebastian Bennett, 24, called himself Dave64 and Dave Smith during his 6-week attempt to extort 54,000 pounds for the 27 images he found on the stolen laptop.
The celebrity, who cannot be named for legal reason, had lost her house keys and was later burgled, and her ordeal began last November when after six weeks of the theft, hand-delivered letters and emails began to arrive.
In the letters, Bennett claimed the digital photographs were worth 2,000 pounds each and he offered to sell them to the star for a "knock-down" price of 20,000 pounds to prevent them surfacing in the press.
At Isleworth Crown Court, Bennett, who has previous convictions for shoplifting and affray, was convicted of handling stolen goods and blackmail by a jury.
Judge Robert Winstanley described his initial demand for cash, in which he claimed to have been offered money for the pictures from the papers, as "particularly sickening".
"Blackmail is an ugly and vicious crime, this is a cowardly crime and cowardly is a description of your behaviour as you turned this way and that as you tried to avoid responsibility for your wicked behaviour," the Telegraph quoted the judge as saying.
Bennett has been ordered to serve half of the sentence in prison and half in the community. (ANI)