A desperate father, Amjer Singh blackmailed his father-in-law in a last effort to get his ex to drop custody proceedings against him. Amjer Singh stormed into a hotel room where 72-year-old Balbir Singh was in with a much younger woman and took a video of him in an ’embarrassing position’, Leeds Crown Court heard.
Amjer Singh then told the 72 year old Balbir Singh he would post the video online if the victim did not get his daughter to abandon her legal battle for custody of the couple’s two sons, reports the Examiner live.
Leeds Crown Court was also told that Amjer Singh threatened to have the victim shot, adding:
“Tell your daughter to let me see my children and stop the case against me.”
Prosecutor Rupert Doswell said the victim is a very respected member of the Sikh community and the defendant also ordered the victim to abandon his leadership role at the temple.
Mr Doswell said the offence, which happened in January last year, was reported to the police after the victim’s daughter found him crying on the sofa a week later and threatening to take his own life.
The victim, who is a part-time taxi driver, told police he had only went to the room at the Days Inn in Bradford to carry a customer’s luggage downstairs, reports the Examiner Live.
The defendant, of Hanby Close, Fenay Bridge, Huddersfield, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to blackmail.
He has one previous conviction dating back to 2001 for an offence of conspiracy to defraud.
A charge of theft of a ceremonial dagger was left to lie on the file.
Petra Chmelikova, 40, of Keldregate in Huddersfield, and the defendant’s younger brother Harwinder Singh, 37, also of Hanby Close, were also charged with conspiracy to blackmail, but their charges were left to lie on the file.
Andrew Dallas, mitigating, said his client has suffered from mental health problems since before his marriage broke down in 2017.
He said the defendant believed some allegations made about him in the family court proceedings were untrue and were increasing the risk of him not being able to see his youngest son.
Mr Dallas added: “He saw his father-in-law as the person behind his wife who was contributing to these difficulties.
“He was desperate to see and maintain contact with his children.
“His actions were irrational and counter-productive and not financially motivated.”
Jailing the defendant for four years, Judge James Spencer QC said: “You devised an elaborate scheme.
“It was wicked because what you were going to do was to compromise him in such a way as his standing in the community would come under extreme attack.
“The purpose was to destroy him – that way he could persuade his daughter not to persist with her family proceedings.
“It was not only wicked, but squalid.”
The defendant’s 17-year-old son, who lives with him, slammed his fist down on a bench in the public gallery as his dad was sent down. He shouted: “My dad didn’t do anything!”
Other family members also denied what happened and requested to see the hotel’s CCTV footage as they led the teenager from the courtroom