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11 December 2014, 06:00
A man from Ely has been jailed for three years for blackmail after being caught out by police who used a bag of post-it notes to look like cash.
Steven Bunting, 46, of High Barns, sent a letter to the 67 year-old victim at his Ely home on October 24 demanding £35,000 in cash or "your son gets hurt, and his mom".
Cambridge Crown Court heard the letter ordered him to "leave the money in a rucksack on top of the first bin in the layby near Ely Golf Club on Friday, October 31 at 6pm", and not to contact police.
Fearing for the safety of his family, the victim attended Ely Police Station straight away to report the letter, which was handed into police as evidence.
The letter was sent for fingerprint analysis which resulted in a finger mark being found on the front of the envelope which was identified as Bunting's.
Detective Sergeant Andrea Warren said:
"As a result of the report, an operation was launched to catch the perpetrator in action. A blue Lonsdale rucksack was filled with 24 packets of yellow post-it notes and placed at the collection point on a bin, as demanded within the letter, at the requested time on the evening of October 31.
At about 7pm Bunting's vehicle, a black Kia Sportage, drove into the drop point and a man was seen to get out of the driver's side. He then walked over to the bin and viewed the bag on top of it.
The car then left but was followed by officers who stopped the vehicle and subsequently arrested the driver on suspicion of blackmail.
Bunting appeared at Cambridge Crown Court in November and pleaded guilty to blackmail. He has been sentenced to three years in prison.
DS Warren added: "This was excellent work by the officers who managed to get Bunting to court. This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim who was frightened for the life of his family."