TWO teenagers have been jailed for a total of ten years for a £6,000 blackmail that drove a retired man to commit suicide.
Graham Cooper, aged 59, from Pickering, North Yorkshire, was the only carer for his elderly father and was a law-abiding citizen.
The pair, from Bolton, found out about a personal matter and threatened to circulate details unless Mr Cooper gave them £6,000.
After two weeks of threats, he took his own life at his home on January 8.
But Mr Cooper left a note explaining why he had taken the action he had.
It was given to police who tracked down the blackmailers within two days.
Aysha Mullah, aged 18, of Olive Street, Daubhill, and Javed Ali, aged 19, of Foxley Grove, Deane, both pleaded guilty to blackmail, and were each jailed for five years.
Det Insp Darrin Knight, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “This was a cold, calculated and callous act by both offenders against a retired gentleman who had done nothing to provoke such action.
"The sentences for both defendants clearly reflect the serious nature of their crime and were only mitigated by the fact that they made early guilty pleas.
“The victim was the sole care provider for his elderly father and their guilty pleas spared him from the trauma of a full trial.
“If anybody finds themselves in a situation like this they shouldn’t be concerned about contacting the police.
"Blackmail is a serious crime and we will treat your case with sensitivity and do everything we can to help.”
Two men from West Sussex who blackmailed a businessman from the York area in the winter of 2012/13 are also serving prison sentences.
In that case, the victim contacted the police immediately after he received a threat.
The blackmailers were arrested within days.