Pensioner who threatened to accuse vulnerable man of rape he never committed jailed for blackmail
Melvyn Papper demanded that his 46-year-old victim repay a £6,000 loan to another person telling him he would go to police and report the victim as having raped a woman.
Papper had previously been acting as an advocate for the man to help him deal with day to day life.
Andrew Vout, prosecuting, described the victim as ‘an extremely vulnerable man’ who is deaf and has learning difficulties who was put under pressure by the threats from Papper.
Mr Vout said: “He [the victim] is deaf. He does not speak. He does not read or write. He has profound learning difficulties.
“He has little understanding of the world around him. He expresses himself through simple sign language. On any view he is an extremely vulnerable individual.
“His world is a small one. He interacts with the deaf community. In short it is a small world where there is much gossip and rumour.”
Mr Vout said that Papper sent the victim a series of threatening text messages and letters in which he described the victim as ‘a habitual liar’ and accused him of attempting to rape a woman adding ‘the maximum penalty is life’ and ‘you can expect 10 to 15 years’.
Mr Vout added: “The allegation of rape was completely unfounded.”
Papper, 68, of Risegate Road, Gosberton Risegate, admitted a charge of blackmail.
The victim’s sister, in a victim impact statement, said he had been left ‘terribly upset’ by what happened.
She said that gossip within the deaf community had resulted in her brother being branded a ‘dirty man’ and he stopped attending social events.
The sister added: “My brother fell apart. This elderly man we trusted to help my brother has done this. He has destroyed the only social life my brother had.”
She said her brother has since moved to another part of the country where he is starting to rebuild his life.
Judge Simon Hirst, passing sentence, told Papper: “This is plainly so serious that only a custodial sentence will do.”
Nick Bleaney, in mitigation, urged that any prison sentence should be suspended.
He said that Papper is the sole carer for his wife who has health problems.
Mr Bleaney added: “This wasn’t his debt. He was never going to be the beneficiary of this.”