Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court sentenced 25-year-old Katie Sheldon to prison for two charges of theft. She reportedly borrowed and then blackmailed a couple out of thousands of pounds. It is reported that the couple gave the woman money even before she started blackmailing them. While she remains in prison her daughter remains in the custody of her parents.

Sheldon started borrowing money from the unnamed couple in November 2019. She first told the couple that she wanted some money to buy things for her daughter. The soft-hearted woman gave her £200 ($276) on Nov. 27, 2019. This was just the beginning of the woman’s frequent request for funds.

The woman was told that Sheldon would return the money once she received her benefits. Sheldon only returned £110 ($152) in two payments of £55 ($76) in December 2019 and January 2020, The Mirror reported. She kept taking more money by giving various excuses. After a point in time, the woman had no more money to give so she informed her partner of the money she had been giving.

The woman’s partner too started to give money to Sheldon. At some point, the woman’s partner asked Sheldon for naked pictures. She sent some pictures to the man and then started to blackmail the couple. She told the woman that she would tell the police the man had been sexually harassing her if they did not give her more money. She even threatened to visit the woman at her work and physically assault her. The woman was also told not to inform the police as they would take the single mother’s daughter away from her.

Till May 26, 2020, the couple had given Sheldon their savings. She had received £27,659 ($38,283) from the man and £17,917 ($24,799) from the woman. A police report was filed after the couple’s relative found out about their ordeal, Stoke on Trent Live reported.

The Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard that the woman had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder due to the blackmailing. She had attempted suicide twice. The court was informed that with the money she swindled, Sheldon gambled online. Sheldon pleaded guilty to two counts of theft. She was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Representation image. Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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