Jury Hears Of Rooney 'Blackmail'

A court's heard Coleen Rooney was subjected to a blackmail plot involving hundreds of personal photos on her stolen camera.

Jennifer Green, 25, and Steven Malcolm, 42, both from Manchester, are accused of demanding the cash from the celebrity wife of Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney.

Both defendants were arrested after Coleen Rooney's mobile phone went missing while at a concert at the MEN Arena in Manchester in May 2010.

Green, of Heaton Park Road, and Malcolm, of Silkin Close, both deny blackmail and handling stolen goods.

Green's partner, Lee Platt, has already admitted handling stolen goods and blackmail, the jury heard.

Deborah Gould, prosecuting, said the defendants "sought by unlawful means to make money out of the situation.''

Malcolm walked into the foyer of the Marriott Hotel and identified himself to the undercover officer, the court was told.

He handed over the folder of photographs and the camera memory card - and was promptly arrested, the jury heard.

Shortly after, Green and Platt were then "desperately'' calling his mobile phone and they were "starting to panic'' with "three-way traffic'' between their mobile phones, but they were getting no response from Malcolm, who told police he was acting on instruction from his "bosses'', the court was told.

Platt later pleaded guilty to the charges but Green gave a "no comment'' interview to police after her arrest.

The jury was told it was not known whether the Samsung digital camera was stolen from Mrs Rooney's person or from the private box she had been in at the MEN arena while watching a Black Eyed Peas concert on May 24, 2010.

After a telephone call to Manchester United, Mr Stretford was made aware of the demands for the return of the camera and spoke to the man named as "Liam Price''.

In a statement read to the court Mr Stretford said during the phone call Price told him he "wanted to do the right thing'' after buying the camera for between £200 and £300 either from a pawn shop or off eBay.

Mr Stretford offered to buy it from them plus expenses for any inconvenience, but then there was a demand for more money. "He told me he thought it was worth a lot more and he said £1,000,'' Mr Stretford said in his statement. I told him he was being very silly and I would call the police if he continued this line."

The court heard Hello magazine was contacted on September 7, 2010, by Liam Price who spoke to Rosie Nixon, an assistant editor at the publication.

The conversation was tape recorded and played to the jury.

In it Price said: "What it is, we have got a memory card and it's from Wayne Rooney's camera. There's 400-plus pictures from the last three or four years.''

The jury then heard from the undercover officer, given the pseudonym 'Pc James'.

Pc James said there was a discussion with Liam Price, who the prosecution say in the conversation with the officer was actually Steven Malcolm, the man on trial, where £5,000 was demanded because the cash would have to be split between three or four people. The two then agreed to meet the next day for the exchange of cash for the camera at the Marriott Hotel in Manchester City Centre, where Malcolm was arrested.

The trial was adjourned until Tuesday.

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