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Car dealer blackmailers lose appeal

PUBLISHED: 11:19 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:18 23 August 2010

BLACKMAILERS, who demanded money with menaces from a Kent used car dealer, had their appeals thrown out by top judges.  Seaman Anderson, of Thirlmere Road, Bexleyheath, and Michael Infanti, of Sycamore Drive, Swanley, accosted the car dealer at his yard

BLACKMAILERS, who demanded money with menaces from a Kent used car dealer, had their appeals thrown out by top judges.

Seaman Anderson, of Thirlmere Road, Bexleyheath, and Michael Infanti, of Sycamore Drive, Swanley, accosted the car dealer at his yard in Gravesend in December last year, where the threat of a shotgun was used to extort a £25,000 "debt" they claimed he owed them.

The greedy crooks were not satisfied and returned to demand a further £35,000 as well as smashing property at the yard.

Anderson, 30, was jailed for five years and Infanti, also 30, for three-and-half years, after both were convicted of blackmail at Maidstone Crown Court in January this year.

Last Wednesday Lord Justice Thomas, sitting with Mr Justice Pitchford and Judge Richard Brown at London's Criminal Appeal Court dismissed both men's challenges to their convictions.

Anderson's also had his appeal against sentence rejected.

The pair argued without success that the "safety" of their convictions was undermined by flaws in the trial judge's directions to the jury, and Anderson said his sentence was "manifestly excessive".

But Lord Justice Thomas told Anderson: "Blackmail is one of the ugliest and most vicious crimes.

"There can be no objection of disparity between your sentence and that of Infanti. You played a larger part. Your sentence is not manifestly excessive or wrong in principle and this application to appeal against sentence is dismissed.

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