WEALTHY British businessman Shaun Dykes has been jailed for using his own girlfriend as a ''honey trap'' to blackmail company director following an illicit affair.
Dykes, 49, demanded £20,000 (€23,894) from the victim in exchange for retaining damning photographs of him cavorting with Suzanne Norbury during a string of sexual encounters.
The married victim, 37, had been having an 18 month fling with 27-year old brunette Norbury after meeting her through an escort agency.
But unbeknown to him Norbury was in fact the partner of Dykes and they were using the affair as an elaborate set up to extract cash out of him.
Video footage and pictures of the secret lovers together were being recorded by covert cameras at Dykes' £500,000 luxury home in the village of Rufford, near Ormskirk, Lancs.
The duped businessman - who cannot be named for legal reasons - later began getting calls from a ''mystery man'' demanding money otherwise the photographs of him with Norbury would be distributed to his employees.
He called in police who mounted a covert operation and they trapped Dyke and Norbury in a sting operation during a rendezvous meeting with the victim.
Dykes a roofing contractor and Norbury was today starting three and a half years in jail after they admitted blackmail at Chester Crown Court.
Cheshire Police said the victim had been visiting Norbury for around 18 months from 2009. During the visits she used her phone and a camera to take pictures and video them engaging in sexual activity.
Trouble began when in April 2011 Norbury told the victim she had been burgled and that her phone, laptop and camera had been stolen.
Two weeks later later Norbury contacted the victim and told him she had been contacted by a man who told her he had the images and videos of her and the victim.
He told her he would show them to their families if they didn't pay him £20,000. She told the victim that the man knew his name and where he worked.
Just over a week later the victim was contacted on his private phone by the man who made threats to release the pictures to everyone at his work if he didn't pay the money, and he would hurt him if he contacted the police.
The victim contacted police the following day. Over the next five days the victim had numerous phone calls making demands and threats.
On 24 May 2011, the victim met Norbury and Dykes in Ormskirk where they attempted to persuade him to hand over cash to them and in return they would hire someone to get his property back.
But unbeknown to Dykes and Norbury, specialist officers were lurking nearby - and the pair were arrested after the meeting.
Today/yesterday(tue) Det Supt Geraint Jones of Cheshire Police said: "Despite being threatened and warned not to go to the police, the victim in this case did the right thing in reporting this crime to us and we immediately launched an operation aimed at catching the people responsible.
"Blackmail often centres on an area of sensitivity or embarrassment to the victim which can inhibit them in contacting the police, but I would like to take this opportunity to stress that Cheshire Police is experienced at dealing with cases such as this and the safety and protection of the victim is our key priority.
''This case highlights how our expertise and sensitivity leads to positive results. I am pleased that these two have been exposed and punished for their deceitful plan as it is a serious crime which is reflected in the sentences handed down today."
In 2008 Dykes was jailed for three years for kidnap and false imprisonment after he armed himself with a 300 volt stun gun and set up a vigilante squad to take revenge on burglars who raided his home of £40,000 worth of goods.
He was said to have acted like a 'general overseeing his troops' when rounding up bodybuilding friends at local gyms to help track down the raider - but got the wrong man.
A teenager was zapped the gun then bound, gagged and blindfolded before being tortured and dumped in a ditch. ENDS Please credit Cavendish Press, Albert House, 17 Bloom Street, Manchester M1 3HZ www.cavendish-press.co.uk.