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R v Lambert [2009] EWCA Crim 2860 Court of Appeal

The appellant was owed money by Aaron. He phoned up Aaron's grandmother and pretended to be Aaron. Posing as Aaron, he claimed that he had been tied up and that his captors were demanding £5,000. He was convicted of blackmail and appealed contending that since in the making of the call he had not made any threat towards Aaron (as he was posing as the victim of threats) neither was it in his power to carry out any such threat.


Conviction upheld. There is no requirement that the person making the demand is to be the one who carries out any of the threatened action or if the demander is in a position to carry out the threatened action.

Moses LJ:

"There is no basis in law for Mr Parish's submission that the demander must be instrumental in authorising the action to be taken. That is contrary to the very heart of the offence, an unwarranted demand accompanied by menaces. It being irrelevant whether the menaces relate to action taken by the demander or somebody else, and it also being irrelevant whether the demander is in any position to effect menace. It is how the demand and menace affects the victim that matters."
Back to lecture outline on The Law of Blackmail