Ian Broadbent, 43, was jailed for 24 months, suspended for 24 months after he pleaded guilty to blackmail – his victim described the incident as a “nightmare ordeal” and said he had caused high stress and anxiety levels
A tenant sent a series of angry messages to his landlords in a dispute over rent and then threatened to kidnap and “place his daughter into prostitution”.
Ian Broadbent, 43, had been living as a lodger at the man’s home and would regularly pay rent, but then ask for money to help tide him over.
The relationship between the pair deteriorated before an argument broke out one day at a pub in August 2020, when one of the landlord’s friends challenged Mr Broadbent, Manchester Evening News reported.
Prosecutor Juliet Berry said: “The defendant returned to the address and the complainant followed, and found the defendant packing.
“He asked him for his keys to the property back, but the defendant refused and called the police.”
When police officers arrived, Broadbent left and handed the keys back.
But he returned later on August 15 and alleged the landlord had damaged the property claiming he owed him £2,000.
The prosecutor told the court he threatened to kidnap the man’s daughter and said he would ‘place them into prostitution’.
Ms Berry said: “Essentially, he said, if you don’t pay the money, his daughters would get hurt.
“The complainant did send abusive messages in response.”
Broadbent was arrested and interviewed and he provided police with a prepared statement, explaining that his mental health was ‘low’ at the time due to a losing his job and his accommodation.
He admitted sending the messages and later pleaded guilty to blackmail.
In a victim statement, the man said: “It has been an incredibly stressful ordeal and I had to take two weeks off work on sick leave.
“Whilst I don’t hate him [Broadbent] I do think he should be held accountable for his actions.”
Thomas Worsfold, mitigating, said his client was at his “lowest ebb” during the offences, and didn’t intend on carrying out the threats.
He said: “He was desperate, and in a very bad place. The complainant responded with unpleasantness of his own.
“It can be described as goading him when he knew he was homeless and at his lowest ebb.
“Blackmail is described as murder of the soul with the complainant cowering in silence – that is not the case as he was able to respond.”
His client has received help from a mental health monitoring team and had found a new job as an engineer and has since described himself as a “changed man”.
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Sentencing, Recorder Abigail Hudson said: “These are extremely disturbing messages which showed a gross degree of misogyny as well as a threat towards a child. They must have been extremely disturbing messages for him to receive.
“I accept there was an element of goading, but the reality is you responded in this wholly unacceptable way. It seems you have a long standing manner of responding when things are not going your way.”
Mr Broadbent was jailed for 24 months, suspended for 24 months; ordered to carry out 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirements and 250 hours unpaid work.
In addition, he was made subject of a restraining order, banning him from contacting the man, or his family, for five years.