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Last Updated: Monday, 20 October, 2003, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Jail for dog theft blackmail
Lester Poynton
Lester Poynton was jailed for 21 months
A man who blackmailed a north Wales couple over the safe return of their 1,000 pet dog has been jailed for 21 months.

Lester Poynton was only caught after the bulldog's owner, Linden Mulhearn from Prestatyn, went with an undercover policeman to meet him.

The 35-year-old received 400 before making a call on his mobile and handing over Louie, stolen in March, safe and well.

Poynton from Blacon, Chester admitted two charges of handling stolen goods, escaping from the crown court dock, assaulting a custody officer and criminal damage.

Judge Huw Daniel, residing at Mold Crown Court said the blackmail was a nasty and mean offence.


"It was distressing for the owners and anyone who has had a dog can understand how the owners would feel in such circumstances," he said.

Poynton got in touch with Louie's owners after leaving a note at their home demanding 500 and no police involvement.

He was caught by undercover police after he tried to flee from the arranged rendezvous at Springfield Hotel near Mold.

When interviewed he admitted keeping the dog and claimed he had come under pressure from some men he owed money for drugs to.

In April, Poynton made a bid for freedom when he made an appearance relating to the bulldog's theft and ran out of Mold Crown Court.

He broke a glass door as he made his escape, after he was refused bail.

A woman police officer chased the defendant out of the court where he was caught by security staff.

Prisoner's dash for freedom
02 Apr 03  |  Wales
Heartless thieves snatch girl's dog
15 Oct 03  |  Scotland
Family pays a dog's ransom
06 Sep 03  |  West Midlands

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