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Sunday, 13 July 2014

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Print firm boss convicted of blackmailing BNP leader facing jail

A printing firm boss from Northern Ireland has been warned he faces a jail sentence after a jury convicted him of blackmailing the leader of the British National Party.

David Sloan photo
David Sloan

Related: Man accused of blackmailing BNP leader has ‘no links with terrorism’

David Sloan, 33, had denied seven charges of blackmail – making unwarranted demands for money from Nick Griffin with menaces.

The prosecution said that he was behind a series of threatening messages to the BNP boss and his family.

A jury at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday delivered not guilty verdicts on five of the charges, but found Sloan, from Newtonards, County Down, guilty of two counts.

They convicted him of making a threatening call to Mr Griffin’s elderly parents, and sending a threatening text message to Mr Griffin’s daughter Jennifer Matthys, who lives in the Wigton area.

Both were part of his attempts to recover the debt the BNP owed his firm, Romac Press, the court heard.

The trial had heard how Sloan, who wanted to recover a £44,000 debt from Mr Griffin for printing election leaflets, threatened to “break every bone” in Mrs Matthy’s body if the debt was not settled.

In his evidence, Mr Griffin claimed he was told that the debt had been sold to paramilitary terrorists in Belfast.

Sloan repeatedly told the court he did not threaten Mr Griffin or his family.

He claimed the BNP’s non payment of the debt put him out of business, left nine people out of work, and drove him to a breakdown.

When he came to Wigton with three burly friends, and followed Mrs Matthys and her husband into Carlisle, he had only wanted to talk to her, he told the jury.

Sloan was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on Friday, July 13. Judge Peter Hughes QC said a custodial sentence was “inevitable.”

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