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Colchester con man sentenced after Ecclestone kidnap threats
3:37pm Friday 7th September 2012 in News
A COPYCAT criminal from who tried to blackmail Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has been jailed for five years.
Martin Peckham, 41, of Silverthorne Close, in Wivenhoe, posed as a security specialist and claimed to know of a Middle Eastern plot to kidnap millionaire Mr Ecclestone’s heirless daugher Tamara.
He demanded £200,000 from Mr Ecclestone, claiming to know how to foil the plot.
Peckham, who pleaded guilty to blackmail, dreamt up the plot after seeing a tabloid newspaper article about a similar attempt to blackmail the F1 supremo, Southwark Crown Court heard.
The father-of-two had lost around £8,500 on a deposit for a wedding venue and, unknown to her, could not afford to pay for the new location his fiancee booked, the court heard.
In an attempt to cover the costs of the wedding and buy the house he lived in with his fiancee, the dental technician repeatedly telephoned Mr Ecclestone and Ms Ecclestone's boyfriend at the time, Omar Khyami, to update them on the fictitious kidnap plot and ask for money to scupper it, according to, Peter Zinner, prosecuting.
Satyanand Beharrylal, mitigating, told Southwark Crown Court court today: “The actions of Mr Peckham were hopeless and hapless compared to seasoned criminals.”
Peckham is a director and dental technician at Essex Denture Centre, in Wivenhoe Business Centre, Brook Street.