Woman facing jail after extorting cash

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A woman who extorted cash from a pensioner, by threatening to make false allegations to the police and newspaper, was today (Wednesday) facing jail.

Michelle Carnegie also pled guilty to three charges of theft.

She targeted men aged 66, 69, and 77 in Forfar over the period of a year.

In the first incident she extorted £1,000 from a 66-year-old man, over the course of two weeks in August 2014.

Forfar Sheriff Court heard she “put him in a state of fear and alarm and apprehension of repercussions” if he didn’t hand over the cash.

Carnegie threatened to make false allegations to the police about the man- then claimed she had “newspaper companies at her door wanting a story about him”.

The court heard she “placed him in fear of Carnegie making false allegations against him to the press” and managed to extort £1000 from him.

Days after completing her extortion scheme Carnegie then targeted a second victim, a 77-year-old man also from Forfar, and stole £60 from him.

The following July Carnegie stole £300 from a man, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Carnegie had been accused of sexually assaulting the man on the day of the theft, but her not guilty plea to that charge was accepted by the Crown.

In September last year Carnegie returned to her the 77-year-old, and stole £500 from him.

Around the same time the violent thug attacked a woman and punched her on the head, causing her to fall to the ground, before repeatedly kicking her on the head during a vicious attack.

Fiscal depute Joanne Smith told Forfar Sheriff Court: “The circumstances of this case are fairly complex.

“I would move for sentence and tender a schedule of previous convictions in respect of the accused.”

Carnegie, 33, a prisoner at HMP Perth, pleaded guilty on indictment to one charge of extortion, three charges of theft and one of assault.

She was on bail at the time of the offences.

Carnegie had not guilty pleas to charges of stealing £80 from a 63-year-old man, £200 from a 67-year-old man, sexually assaulting a 69-year-old man, extorting £300 from a man and woman by threats, assaulting a woman and attempting to extort money from another man accepted by the Crown.

Prosecutors also accepted a not guilty plea to a charge that she extorted £9360 from a 65-year-old man in Forfar over a five-year period by threatening him with violence and threatening to report him to police for fictitious serious sexual assaults.

Sheriff Pino di Emidio deferred sentence until next month for social work background reports.