Natland pensioner pleads guilty to bank blackmailing charge

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A PENSIONER from Natland has today admitted demanding £150,000 with menaces from a bank.

Peter Gould, 71, of Robby Lea Drive, Natland, pleaded guilty at Carlisle Crown Court on Monday to blackmailing the un-named member of staff at the HSBC bank on June 14.

The charge stated that, with a view to gaining for himself, or causing loss to another, he demanded £150,000 from a bank employee.

No details of the offence were given in court, and neither the location of the bank nor the nature of the menaces used were mentioned.

But defence barrister Kim Whittlestone told the judge: “It is a rather unusual case to say the least.”

She said Gould had already been examined by a consultant psychiatrist and found to be suffering from a depressive illness.

He had also undergone tests for the onset of dementia, which had proved negative, she said.

Ms Whittlestone said Gould, who had a history of heart trouble, was awaiting “a further medical procedure” which would make an early return to court difficult.

Gould, who had never been in trouble before, was remanded on bail for probation reports and will be sentenced on February 7.

He was ordered to live for the next week at an address in Valley Drive, Kendal, before moving to stay with his son in Lound Road, Kendal.

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