Horses at the Centre of Blackmail Plot
We recently brought you the sad story of 6 horses which had been mutilated in their field. The horses were found with their tails and manes cut off. Unfortunately, the distress caused by the incident appears to have inspired the actions of a blackmailer.
Kirsty Geoghegan has been jailed following an appearance at Lewes Crown Court after threatening to mutilate and even kill five horses with a machete.
Blackmailer Demands £5,000
Geoghegan is a former horse owner. She had been sending frightening messages to a Sussex equestrian threatening to cut her horses throats if she didn’t furnish a pay-off of £5,000. The horses’ owner had then been forced to stay with her animals at the Shoreham stables in an attempt to protect them. But she continued to be plagued by the terrible messages. Miss Geoghegan included comments such as "the clock is ticking" and "the machete has been sharpened".
The Hunt for The Blackmailer
Miss Geoghegan had previously kept a horse at the stables but had left on bad terms. But the victim of the menacing messages did not know who was responsible for the threats. It took time to track down the guilty party via her IP address. When caught, Miss Geoghagen initially claimed that she, herself, had been the victim of blackmail following threats to her cat.
However she eventually pleaded guilty and showed remorse.
Judge Christopher Parker QC spoke of a tissue of lies. He believed that Geoghagen had been motivated by spite, greed or a combination of both. He felt that she had taken advantage of the distress caused by the well-publicised incident of mutilation that had taken place shortly before she had begun sending her messages.
Despite the fact that Geoghagen had not actually harmed any of the horses, her attempt at blackmail greatly upset her victim and other owners at the stables. Her threats were designed to terrify her victim. The judge felt that the depression she had been suffering from was no excuse. The judge sentenced her to 15 months, half of which she will serve in prison. She will be subject to a 12-month supervision period upon release.
How terrible that someone could behave in this appalling manner and use someone’s love of their horses to extort money from them. If only people were more like horses!