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Blackmailer jailed after taking advantage of elderly man in Congleton

A 35-year-old blackmailer who took advantage of an elderly man in Congleton has been jailed.

Robert Hughes, known locally as Bungle, forced his way into the 79-year-old’s home to take money from him after making the victim believe he had photographic evidence of him with a woman.

Hughes was sentenced to six years in prison on Friday 16 October at Chester Crown Court after being found guilty of blackmail, robbery and five counts of burglary following a 5-day trial.

He pleaded guilty to separate offences of theft from a motor vehicle and fraud before the trial began.

The blackmail began in February of this year when Hughes told the woman to visit the gentleman’s home and make sexual advances towards him. The victim believed he knew her and let her into his house.

A couple of days later Hughes visited the victim claiming he had a photo of him with the woman and made demands for money.

Almost every week afterwards Hughes would to go to the man’s house claiming to need the toilet and while he was there he searched for money. The victim believes Hughes had stolen a total of around £100.

The court heard from a number of witnesses who saw Hughes coming and going from the man’s home. They described the victim as extremely vulnerable due to his age and with no family to support him.

On 10 June Hughes was arrested at his home address.

Detective Sergeant Keith Graham, of Macclesfield CID, said: “Hughes took advantage of an elderly and vulnerable man by forcing his way into his home to take his money.

“Over four months he was left scared and feeling he had no choice but to keep giving into his demands.

“Despite the victim having no close family for support the local community were looking out for him and spotted something wasn’t right about Hughes’ actions and reported it to police.

“Following the actions of residents, officers from the beat initiative team, response and CID worked together to conduct an excellent investigation and securing enough evidence to ensure the jury found him guilty.”

Officers also applied for Hughes to receive a criminal behaviour order which was granted by the court. 

Pictured - Robert Hughes, known locally as Bungle.

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