Nelson businessman is jailed for blackmail plot

A NELSON businessman and an accomplice are each behind bars for four years for blackmailing a young woman who handed over jewellery worth almost £5,000.

Javaad Daar and Zilwan Saeed, an Iraqi Kurd, got gold out of the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, with a series of threats.

The woman, who Saeed had befriended, was told she would have acid thrown over her, she would have to earn money for Saeed by sleeping with men and her family would be killed, Burnley Crown Court was told.

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Daar (34), of Cliffe Street, Nelson, and Saeed (21), of Ives Road, Halifax, were both recently convicted by a jury of blackmail after a trial at Preston Crown Court. They had denied the allegation and, the sentencing hearing was told, Daar still protested his innocence.

The court had been told the victim parted with gold given to her as a wedding present.

In January this year, Saeed told the woman he had come to the UK from Iraq, but his mother was suffering from breast cancer. The victim felt sorry for him and handed over £800-worth of jewellery in February.

Hours later, she received a telephone call from Saeed, who told her he had someone with him, who wanted to talk to her. He handed over the phone to Daar, who told the victim Saeed was working for him. Daar then demanded more jewellery with threats. The jewellery has never been recovered.

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Mr William Staunton, for Daar, said he appreciated custody was inevitable. The threats were not necessarily issued by the defendant himself.

Daar, who had children, would no longer be able to operate his businesses, one of which, Skynet, appeared to have been relatively successful. It was run from a £250,000 property in Scotland Road, Nelson, and had been making a profit of £20,000 to £30,000 a year.

Mr Staunton said Daar had been on remand seven months and been attending courses in custody. The barrister added: “He is trusted to speak on behalf of those who share his faith in matters appertaining to them in custody, such as halal food.” Mr Staunton said the defendant’s father was a wealthy man, his brother was in law and his sister a teacher.

For Saeed, Mr Jeremy Coleman said: “He directly made threats of violence over text messages and over the telephone. He says it was at Daar’s instigation.”

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Sentencing, Judge Andrew Woolman told the defendants it may be the case Daar was the brains behind what went on as he may have had the motivation due to heavy drug debts. He said Saeed seemed to have issued the nastiest of the threats.

The judge continued: “Courts always regard offences of blackmail as extremely serious. It’s a nasty offence because of its insidious nature and custody is inevitable.”

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