Mansfield woman jailed over online sex trap

Alison Banner, who was jailed for blackmailing a man she met online.
Alison Banner, who was jailed for blackmailing a man she met online.

A Mansfield woman who blackmailed a sex-starved husband out of £7,000 after saying she had photographs of them in the act, has been jailed.

Alison Banner, of Tideswell Court, targeted a man she met online and then threatened to tell his wife if he didn’t pay up.

The 40-year-old mother-of-four was jailed for 15 months at Derby Crown court this week after admitting a charge of blackmail.

Jailing Banner, Judge Nirmal Shant QC said: “What you did was dreadful. You tried and succeeded to extort money from somebody who sought friendship with you. This was plainly planned because photographs were taken of the complainant in compromising situations.”

The court was told how Banner had met the Derby man on the internet and arranged to go for coffee.

They then went for a stroll and she suggested they have sex behind a tree in a public place.

When they parted, the man gave her £80 to buy some new underwear for the next time they met.

He called her later and she told him that he had four hours to pay up £10,000, and if it was not paid in full, his wife would find out.

She also said she would go to the police about them having sex in a public place, adding that she had photographs of the two of them.

Terrified that his wife would find out, he immediately transferred £3,500 to her account.

Days later, Banner rang the man and accused him of raping her, before passing the phone to a man who became abusive towards the victim.

The victim then called the police.

During the hearing, Grace Hale, prosecuting, said the man had felt ‘stupid and embarrassed’ by the experience.

Police examined the victim’s bank statement and found that a total of £7,000 had been moved to Banner’s account, which had just £4 left in his own bank.

Defending Banner, Clive Stockwell, in mitigation, said Banner had committed the cirme to clear a debt from a drug dealer, who is thought to be the man on the phone who threatened the victim.

Mr Stockwell added: “The defendant’s daughters are in court. They all live together. The defendant has cared as best she could for her daughters over time. The accounts they give is that they have been well-nurtured by this defendant.”

He said that Banner had been in trouble before but had never been to prison.

“She has had difficulties being the sole carer for four children over time and suffered depression for some time compounded by the death of her best friend, which led her to return to misuse of drugs.”

Banner wept as Judge Shant told her that nothing other than a custodial sentence could be passed.

But the judge said the sentence was ‘considerably lower’ because of the impact it would have on her daughters if she had to serve a longer sentence.