The Law on Blackmail and Extortion in NSW

 

It is reported that the 2015 season contestant from the Block, 49-year-old Suzi Taylor has been charged with extorting and detaining her tinder date.

It is alleged that she lured her tinder date before assaulting him for financial gain.

Police allege that the tinder date, a 33-year-old man visited a house in a Riverside suburb in Brisbane shortly after 12am on 30 October subsequent to meeting Taylor.

Shortly after this, it is alleged that Taylor then demanded money from the 33-year-old man.

Police have said, “When the man didn’t comply, another man allegedly entered the room and assaulted the 33-year-old man and held him against his will.”

“The woman also allegedly assaulted the man before the pair forced the man to undertake an online transaction.”

The pair then allegedly stole his bank card and withdrew a sum of money.”

Taylor appeared in court facing charges of extortion to gain benefit with threat, depriving the 33-year-old man’s liberty, possessing dangerous drugs and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Her co-accused 22-year-old Al Ebrahimi is also facing the same charges.

The Magistrate in court was reported saying that she is now at risk of reoffending.

Taylor had gained $349,000 of winnings alongside her friend Yvonne Cosier in the 2015 season of the Block.

The former Penthouse cover model and mother of 3 was found unconscious on the set of the reality tv show at the time of the open for inspection. She was then escorted to hospital where it was discovered that she suffered an anxiety attack.

According to news.com.au, a source has informed Woman’s Day that her exhaustion was also contributed from the continuous partying she did during the Spring Racing Carnival.

During her time on the Block, Taylor said, “If I’ve caused anyone any embarrassment, I totally regret it.”

“I’ve had a lot of personal issues in my life which I suppose a lot of people do… I’m on the road to recovery and thank you so much for supporting me.”

She is next due to appear at court on 25 November.

While the law is different in Queensland, it is similar to NSW.

In NSW, a couple of the common charges of this nature are demand money with intent to steal under section 99 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), and NSW robbery offences which our criminal lawyers specialise in under section 94 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

The Law on Blackmail and Extortion: Demanding Money with Intent to Steal in NSW

Blackmail is also known under the law as extortion.

This offence is when a person dishonestly makes a demand on another person for property such as money that is in that other person’s possession or under that person’s control where that demand is accompanied by force or threat according to section 99 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

The offence of demanding property with intent to steal under section 99 carries a maximum penalty of 10-years imprisonment.

Where this offence is committed in the company of another person(s), the maximum penalty is 14-years imprisonment.

To be guilty of the offence of demanding property with intent to steal under section 99, the prosecution is required to prove each of the following elements beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused person demands any property from another person; and
  2. This was done with menaces or by force; and
  3. This was done with the intention to steal the same.

To be guilty, there is no requirement for proof that the alleged victim of the extortion or blackmail actually gave way to the threat or force, nor is there a requirement that the alleged victim actually handed the property over to the person who made the demand.

What does ‘menace’ and ‘threat’ mean under the law? To constitute menace or threat here, the jury will need to consider if a person of ordinary firmness and courage (not the alleged victim) would regard that what the accused person said or did (whether implied or expressed) as a threat or force, would likely to have influenced him/her in such a way to behave in a manner against his/her own wishes.

Click here as to an outline of that constitutes stealing or larceny under the law in NSW.

Some defences to a charge of extortion or blackmail in NSW include:

  1. Where the accused person makes a claim of right in respect to the demanding with menaces with intent to steal charge. This defence is expressed in R v Bernhard [1938] 2 All ER 140.
  2. Where the accused person did it due to a necessity or duress.
  3. Where there is no intention to permanently deprive the alleged victim of the property.
  4. Mental illness defence.
  5. Mistaken identity.
  6. The court must acquit the accused if the prosecution fails to prove any one of the above outlined elements of this charge.

Have questions? Contact our friendly team at CDLA to arrange a free first consultation today.

We specialise in criminal law with criminal lawyers in Parramatta and Sydney CBD city who appear across all courts.

About Jimmy Singh

Mr. Jimmy Singh is the Principal Lawyer at Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia - Australia's Leading Criminal Defence Lawyers, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Courts.

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