Sutton woman drove ex-partner to brink of suicide with £600 blackmail ploy
A Sutton woman who tried to blackmail her ex-partner for £600 with false allegations of paedophilia which drove him to the brink of suicide has been jailed, a court heard heard.
Stacy Clemence met her victim on social media in September 2017, and he believed they were in a relationship, said prosecutor Lucy Jones.
Over the next 18 months he provided her with "vast amounts of money," and by February 2019 he was in a large amount of debt.
In a Whatsapp message, sent on February 12, Clemence demanded £600 from him "otherwise she would post him all over Facebook and claim he was a paedophile.”
Her victim took the threats seriously, said Ms Jones. "He was right to, because these threats were not empty ones,” she added.
For the next nine days Clemence called him "constantly", contacting his work place as many as 98 times, before posting the allegation on his employer's Facebook page. Worried customers contacted the firm to ask if the allegations were true.
His sister received a message threatening trouble if the money was not paid by Friday.
In a victim impact statement, the man described himself as “a wreck" and "living in fear that the allegations against him would force others to harm him," Ms Jones said.
The impact on his mental health led to depression and suicidal feelings, he said.
"My reputation means everything," he said, adding that he feels Clemence has "ruined my career to some extent" and he has "lost the trust of colleagues and friends."
Her victim, described as "brilliant at his job", said his performance at work had suffered and although his employers have been supportive he now fears losing his job.
On Wednesday, Nottingham Crown Court heard that Clemence showed no remorse to police or probation officers and only pleaded guilty on the day of her trial. She has 11 previous convictions, mainly for theft, and in 2014 received an eight week suspended prison sentence for burglary.
Matthew Smith, mitigating, said: "She knows she is in a serious position. She has stayed out of trouble since 2019.
"I accept where this sits in the guidelines. As mean as the offence was it occurred over a relatively short period of time.”
She felt she was entitled to £600 after discussions about driving lessons for her, he said, adding: "She quite clearly has deficits in her thinking skills.”
Clemence, 33, of Howard Street, Sutton, pleaded guilty to stalking and sending threatening communications, on March 17.
Judge Steven Coupland told her: "You used him as a cash cow. While he was working hard you were milking him for significant amounts of money.
"The threat you made was one of the most awful possible. You knew the fragile mental health he was in and you decided to press that pressure point to get cash."
He imposed a restraining order, banning her from contacting her victim and posting anything about him on social media, and jailed her for two years.
Speaking afterwards, Police Constable Jenna Sorensen said: "The contact made by Clemence was unwanted and it caused a lot of anxiety for the victim. It caused adverse effects on his usual day-to-day activities and had a huge impact on his life and mental health."