Jealous ex tried to blackmail love rival out of £35,000

Jailed: Nico Luisi
Jailed: Nico Luisi
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A jealous lover tried to blackmail his friend out of £35,000 after learning he had an affair with his ex partner.

Nico Luisi, 25, who pleaded guilty to blackmail has been jailed for two years after telling his friend he would “smash his skull wide open and bring his life down to rock bottom.”

He was motivated by the affair between the complainant and his former partner and only wanted to cause emotional anguish. He understands the impact of his actions and does not harbour any animosity towards his victim.

Beverley Hackett

Acting in what his defence lawyer Beverley Hackett described as “a moment of complete madness” Luisi, of Bootle Street, Preston, set out to intimidate the man - who can not be identified for legal reasons.

On February 22 he discovered his former friend had been involved with his ex partner while he was in prison for a violent offence, Preston Crown Court heard.

Throughout the afternoon his former friend received a number of missed calls on his mobile phone followed by a series of text messages.

Harry Pepper, prosecuting, said: “There were threats of violence. He said: ‘I’ll smash your skull wide open’ and he was asking how could his friend have this relationship, saying: ‘We’re meant to be mates.’”

The man apologised and begged Luisi to keep the affair secret from his partner but Luisi replied: “I want £35k. Simple. If not I’m bringing your life right down to rock bottom,” adding that he would leave him with nothing and ruin his life.

That evening Luisi - who has previous convictions for causing grievous bodily harm, affray, criminal damage and battery - visited the man’s house and smashed up the Ford Fiesta he shared with his partner.

The man contacted the police and Luisi was arrested the following day. Threatening text messages were recovered from his mobile phone and a baseball bat was discovered in the boot of his car.

Miss Hackett said: “He accepts that this is a very mean offence. The person concerned is someone he had known over a very long period of time.

“He was motivated by the affair between the complainant and his former partner and only wanted to cause emotional anguish. He understands the impact of his actions and does not harbour any animosity towards his victim.”

In a victim impact read to Preston Crown Court, the man said he had believed Luisi would carry out his threats as he knew about his violent past.

He said since the incident he had been anxious, had separated from his partner and been unable to work due to the damage to the car.

Judge Andrew Woolman, sentencing, said: “You are a hard working person. You have been to prison before for offences of violence but in between times you are regarded as a very decent man. I don’t quite understand what is going on in your head.

“Blackmail offences are always serious. They are rightly regarded by the court as thoroughly unpleasant offences and they always meet with a sentence of imprisonment.”