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R v Tomlinson [1895] 1 QB 706 Court of Appeal

The appellant made a demand for money threatening to reveal the complaint's sexual encounters with another woman to his wife and friends. He was convicted of blackmail and appealed contending that use of the word 'menaces' suggested only threats of physical violence or damage to property would suffice.

Held:

Conviction upheld. The word menaces extends beyond threats of physical violence and property damage.

Russell LCJ:

"I should have regretted if the Court had felt compelled to confine the construction of the word 'menaces' in the way suggested with the result of excluding such conduct of the prisoner from the purview of the criminal law."
 
Back to lecture outline on The Law of Blackmail