A man who tried to blackmail his GP after spotting a lookalike in a top shelf magazine has been jailed for two years. Graham Rideout sent the married doctor a photocopy of the page from the publication, which specialised in spanking, with a circle around the face of someone he thought was the doctor. In a 25-page hand-written letter sent to the man's surgery, the 56-year-old maintenance worker ordered the innocent man to hand over £8,000 or he would ruin him by exposing his 'perversions'. Rideout told him he would contact the General Medical Council to try to get him struck off. He would also inform his family and the police.
The doctor responded by contacting the police. Despite the letter claiming no fingerprints would be found on it, Rideout was wrong and identified from the rambling document. Matthew Scott, prosecuting, told Swindon crown court: "On December 8 last year the doctor received a letter in a brown envelope. The letter consisted of about 25 pages of handwritten notes and on the front page of the letter was a photocopy of an adult magazine for those interested in spanking, and the like. In that was a picture of a man that had been circled. It was not the man in question but Mr Rideout thought that it was.
He wrote on it a number of demands to pay him money; £8,000 if he was not to report the doctor to the GMC and possibly the police." The sender was arrested towards the end of January as his prints were on record as a result of a previous caution, and he admitted to the offence. Rideout, of Swindon, pleaded guilty to blackmail. Nick Fridd, defending, said his client had been drinking and wound himself up after seeing what he thought was his GP in the magazine. He said that he didn't really think he would get any money but he just wanted to "fire a shot across the bows" of the doctor. Rideout had been diagnosed as suffering from paranoid psychosis, he said, and needed help for his problems.
Jailing him Judge Douglas Field said: "You sent this long, nasty letter to your doctor and that letter contained the threat that unless a payment of £8,000 would be made you would be telling people that his photograph appeared in an adult magazine and that he was interested in being spanked. There were detailed instructions about how he was to go to the place to pay the money. If he didn't comply the police would be called, his family would find out and he would be ruined. This was a very nasty, evil attack. Your motives appear to be strange and irrational; it may well have been because you have psychiatric problems. I have to bear in mind the position of this doctor: completely blameless in this, out of the blue getting this letter which causes him and his family extreme distress. There is no excuse for this."