Men jailed for blackmailing Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire farmers out of thousands of pounds
A FENLAND farmer was one of many in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire targeted by two men who have been jailed for blackmailing farmers out of thousands of pounds.
Arnold MacAlister, 51, and Gary Chambers, 47, were part of a gang linked to a string of blackmails across both counties between October 2008 and February 2009.
The Cambridgeshire offences occurred in Manea, Elton and two in St Neots. Two more occurred in Lincolnshire.
The latest incident occurred on February 16, last year, when three men offered to tarmac a drive for a farmer in Elton. They said the job would cost �50, however began demanding �6,000 once the drive had been laid.
The farmer received numerous phone calls threatening him with violence if he refused to pay up. The victim eventually agreed to meet MacAlister in Stamford, where he handed over a considerable amount of cash. However, police had been laying in wait and arrested MacAlister.
You may also want to watch:
A yellow tipper lorry was seized nearby and DNA evidence from a drinks can led police to Chambers.
Both men, who are from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, were charged with conspiracy to blackmail.
- 1 Turners ‘massively impacted’ and Knowles up pay to hire HGV drivers
- 2 Hunt is on to find stags that escaped from farm
- 3 Villagers team up to honour 'a real character'
- 4 ‘Enough is enough’ says MP at the scene of drink drive crash
- 5 Mobile upgrade work may cause TV interference
- 6 MP the “most handsome and kindest member of the government’
- 7 Sex offender caught with 76 of most serious child abuse photos
- 8 ‘Tired and dated’ road can only get better with our 40 new homes, say builders
- 9 Jail for paedophile who booked hotel to abuse three children
- 10 ‘High risk’ paedophile had indecent images of children on his phone
They denied the offences, but Chambers was found guilty following a trial and MacAlister was convicted of theft.
Chambers was jailed for four years at Huntingdon Crown Court yesterday (Monday, November 29). MacAlister was sentenced to 18 months.
Det Con Martin Brocklebank, who led the investigation, said: “This was a lengthy investigation and covered a number of different offences across Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.
“The tactic was always the same, carrying out the work then threatening the victims with violence in order to extort money. Some of the victims handed over large sums of cash in order to stop the threats.
“Often victims in such cases are unwilling to report the crime for fear of repercussions. However I would urge them to call police so we can stop other people becoming victims.
“The courts take blackmail very seriously as this case shows - offenders face being locked up for a very long time.”