Fac­tory em­ployee ad­mits to black­mail

Taranaki Daily News - - News - DEENA COSTER

A woman tried to extort $250,000 from her ex-boss through a se­ries of threat­en­ing emails she sent only days af­ter quit­ting her job.

Shaz­matt Sa­man­tha Henry had worked at Taranaki By-Prod­ucts, an an­i­mal ren­der­ing plant, for al­most three years be­fore her sud­den de­par­ture on July 16.

Eleven days ear­lier, the man­ager of the South Taranaki plant had given Henry a let­ter which told her she was re­quired to at­tend a meet­ing with him about an is­sue con­cern­ing ‘‘se­ri­ous mis­con­duct’’.

The sum­mary of facts stated the 29-year-old never turned up to the meet­ing and then re­signed.

On July 26, the de­fen­dant sent the plant man­ager an email in which she threat­ened to dis­close com­pany in­for­ma­tion to its cus­tomers. She fol­lowed up the threat by de­mand­ing a pay­ment of $250,000 in or­der ‘‘to keep quiet’’.

This email was ig­nored by the vic­tim but he re­ceived a sim­i­lar one the fol­low­ing day, with the same threats.

On Au­gust 2, Henry fired off an­other men­ac­ing mis­sive to her ex-boss.

‘‘The vic­tim re­sponded to the third email out­lin­ing that if the de­fen­dant con­tacted him again, he would con­tact the po­lice,’’ the sum­mary of facts said.

In re­ply, Henry wrote that she had ‘‘enough good footage to close the plant down’’.

Af­ter the plant man­ager re­ceived this email, he went to the po­lice.

The de­fen­dant’s last con­tact with the man­ager was made on Au­gust 14, when she told him she had al­ready started to make con­tact with the com­pany’s cus­tomers. When spo­ken to by po­lice about the black­mail plot, Henry de­clined to make a state­ment.

In the Ha¯ wera District Court on Tues­day, she pleaded guilty to a rep­re­sen­ta­tive charge of black­mail.

Judge Chris Sy­grove or­dered a pre-sen­tence re­port and re­ferred the case to restora­tive jus­tice.

She was re­manded to reap­pear for sen­tenc­ing on Jan­uary 9.

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