Shaun Wheeler threatened to "flatten" his blackmail victim and told him to rob a post office, steal from his family, or sell his children's Christmas presents.

Wheeler, 33, of Allexton Gardens, was owed £490, but the victim could not afford to pay him back until the end of December.

Wheeler demanded the money on December 16, and tripled the debt to £1,500 when the victim didn't pay.

The blackmailer then threatened to visit the victim's home and "flatten" him.

Wheeler told the victim that he didn't care about his family and wasn't scared of the police or prison.

The Peterborough man demanded the victim get his money within two hours, either by robbing a post office, stealing from his family, or selling Christmas presents meant for his children.

The victim managed to repay Wheeler the £490 on December 20, but Wheeler asked where the extra interest was.

The victim promised to pay the next day, but ceased contact with Wheeler.

Wheeler was later arrested but denied blackmailing the man.

However, he was charged with the offence which he pleaded guilty to.

Recommended Reading: Peterborough: Why have police closed flat in Lincoln Road?

He was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court today (6 February), where he was handed two years and three months in prison.

Wheeler was also given a five-year restraining order, preventing him from contacting his victim in any way.

DC Lloyd Davis, who investigated, said: “Wheeler’s behaviour was menacing and unfair.

“His victim was left genuinely scared for his safety, and that fear remains today even now Wheeler is behind bars.

“The man has been left scared to answer his door or go outside after dark.

"I hope the sentence imposed gives him some closure and serves as a warning to others about how seriously both the police and the courts take blackmail.

“I would urge victims of blackmail to come forward to police.

"As this case demonstrates, we will do all we can to bring those responsible to justice.”