Man asks to be jailed after extorting money from uncle

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A man who extorted £2,000 from his uncle by pretending to arrange a prostitute for him asked a sheriff to be jailed.

Sean McCuish of Wallace Place, Fort William appeared for sentence at Inverness Sheriff Court after previously admitting a charge of extortion and possessing a lock-knife.

The 30-year-old instructed his lawyer Mike Chapman not to plead for any other sentence than one of prison and Sheriff Sara Matheson obliged by jailing him for 16 months.

But she sympathised with McCuish after reading a confidential background report and expressed the hope incarceration would benefit him.

She told him: ‘It is no surprise given your childhood that you find yourself in this position.’

Mr Chapman told the Sheriff: ‘It is accepted this is an unpleasant offence and he has expressed a degree of remorse. He attributes the reason to a drug addiction. He does not wish a deferred sentence for a drug treatment and testing assessment. He feels prison will do him more good and help him get to a better place.’

Fiscal depute Martina Eastwood had previously told the court that McCuish’s uncle, Anthony McCuish, inherited £36,833.47 following the death of his parents.

Mrs Eastwood described Mr McCuish as ‘a vulnerable adult’ who had a conversation with his nephew about women on social media in May 2018.

‘It led to the accused offering to organise a prostitute. He said he could arrange for a woman to come to his uncle’s house for sex for £100.

‘There is then an exchange of messages over the next few days during which the price of the prostitute rises, money is required for her travel and then the “pimps” require a deposit, all leading to Mr McCuish transferring money to his nephew.

‘When no prostitute appears, the accused tells his unlce that the pimps are now angry and that he can still make an appointment with her but further money up front is required.

“He then threatens his uncle with the consequences of non-payment, saying the pimps have guns and that they may shoot him.

“Overall between July 5 and July 27, 2021, he extorted £2,000 from his uncle,’ Mrs Eastwood told the court.

The court heard that when police went to arrest McCuish he was outside his home and had a lock-knife in his pocket.

‘He told police it was for cleaning out oil on his bong,’ Mrs Eastwood added.