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Serial blackmailer who targeted multiple victims jailed after police investigation

A prolific blackmailer has been jailed for more than five years after pleading guilty to fifteen counts of blackmail.

Stephen Walker, 55, of Roding Lane North, Woodford Green, East London, was sentenced at Inner London Crown Court on Thursday (11 October 2018) after committing blackmail between October 2017 and May 2018. 

Walker was arrested by officers from the City of London Police on 22 May 2018 after an attempted blackmail on a well-known business, which has its headquarters within the City.

In May 2018, Walker sent a letter addressed to the company CEO which was received at their offices. The letter demanded £150,000 otherwise the personal details of one million of the company’s customers would be sold. A phone number was provided in the letter for the bank to contact the blackmailer. 

After a thorough investigation, City of London Police officers attended with colleagues from the National Crime Agency (NCA), arresting him at home. A number of items were seized including copies of the letters sent to a wide range of victims.

The claims in these letters varied in nature, from the threat of kidnap of family members, to the release of damaging information – all of which appeared to be false from police investigations.

Intelligence checks on the phone used by Walker in the City case provided evidence which linked the handset to numerous blackmail offences that had occurred within other parts of the UK, predominantly in London. It is not known if Walker made a financial gain from his criminality.

Detective Constable Yagmur Koz from the City of London Police said: 

“This sentence shows that, while offences of this nature may seem intimidating, they can be investigated and offenders can be brought to justice.

“We have worked closely with the Metropolitan Police and the National Crime Agency so we could uncover the true depth of Walker’s offending and we hope this sentence brings some comfort to his victims.

“We would encourage any individual or organisation which finds themselves in a similar position to report it to their local police force immediately – don’t keep it a secret.”

Walker pleaded guilty to fifteen counts in total, two counts on City of London jurisdiction, and the remainder on Metropolitan Police Service. He was sentenced to a total of 68 months in prison.

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