Pump Court Chambers

Woman avoids jail for attempting to blackmail Premier League footballer

News 26th November 2019

A woman who was filmed in bed with a cheating Premier League footballer has avoided jail, having attempted to blackmail him. The footballer, who has lifelong anonymity, requested that Natalie Wood, 28, send him sexual videos, before arranging to meet her in a hotel. A plan was then hatched for two men to burst in and film the liaison, in order to sell the footage as a kiss and tell story.

Footage from the incident shows the footballer, clad only in his underwear, jumping out of the hotel room window after the co-defendants enter. He later received a message from the group via Wood’s phone, threatening to expose him to the media if he did not respond within 24 hours.

Peter Asteris, defending Wood, said: “Miss Wood has been something of a victim herself. She has been manipulated.” He said his client had been stalked online, with abusive messages being sent to her and her family. The court also heard Wood has since written a letter of apology to the footballer.

Wood whom previously admitted conspiring to blackmail the footballer with three men, was later cleared of the charge after a three-week trial in October at Bristol Crown Court. Her plea to that charge was dropped following the jury’s verdict and on Friday she admitted a charge of attempting to blackmail the star.

Judge Martin Picton jailed Wood for 14 months but suspended the sentence for 12 months due to ‘exceptional’ circumstances. In summing up the judge said: “Blackmail is always a very wicked crime and has the power to do great harm to others but I have no doubt that whatever your thoughts about it, you were subjected to significant manipulation.” And “The celebrity that attracted her to others has consequences.”

Co Defendant Prince Rowe, 38, was jailed for 16 months for stealing the footballer’s Rolex watch and designer tracksuit during the incident. For further details of the story please click here.

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