Tuesday 22 October 2019

Handyman pleads guilty to role in Rooney blackmail plot

Pat Hurst in Manchester

A handyman yesterday admitted trying to blackmail Coleen Rooney for £5,000 (€5,960) over stolen personal photos.

Steven Malcolm (42) changed his plea to guilty after giving evidence from the witness box on the third day of his trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Malcolm, who had initially denied handling stolen goods and blackmail, claimed he only acted as a "middle man" for his boss, Lee Platt, who he worked for as a handyman at his firm Fresh Interiors, a furniture business in Manchester.

He said Platt, who has already admitted blackmail, was a "gangster" involved in the plot and he only passed on information to arrange handover of the photos.

Malcolm was subsequently arrested by officers in a police sting at the handover meeting in September last year.

The wife of the Manchester United and England striker had her digital camera stolen while watching a show in a VIP box at the MEN arena on May 24 last year.

The photos were touted to newspapers and magazines before Manchester United was contacted with the £5,000 demand.

Malcolm will be sentenced, with Platt, after the conclusion of the trial of his co-accused, Jennifer Green (25), Platt's business partner and girlfriend. She denies the charges.

Irish Independent

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