Son threatened his widowed mum so she would pay off his thousands of pounds of debt



A son who was tens of thousands of pounds in debt through gambling threatened his recently widowed mum several times so she would fork out to cover the cost of his addiction.

Ben Rowsell, 25, made the threats in July 2020 August 2020 – just weeks after his dad died.

This week Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court was told by prosecutor Ieuan Bennett how Rowsell threatened to make up a story to his mum’s employer that she was skiving off work.

The twisted are also threatened to post embarrassing images of her on social media, to roll her car down a hill and to burn her clothes.

In response to his threats his terrified mum agreed to pay him more than £11,000 in the space of a month, Wales Online reports.

She also gave him more than £25,000 in an attempt to get him to leave the family home which he accepted but he stayed living at the house.

The final threat of damage to her clothes and property left his mother feeling so worried that she decided she had to inform the police.

At the time of his arrest at Belle Vue Terrace, Treforest, on August 17, 2020, the court heard how Rowsell was unapologetic for his actions.

Mr Bennett told the court: “The defendant was originally facing an indictable offense of blackmail which he pleaded not guilty to on December 9, 2020. The case was then listed for trial for April of this year.

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“But the mother, who is the victim in this case, got in touch with the police and the CPS to indicate that she had decided not to support the prosecution’s case and to not appear as a trial witness.

“She explained that she had managed to improve her relationship with her son and did not want him to go to prison.”

As the charge of blackmail was therefore dropped 25-year-old Rowsell was instead charged with sending malicious texts with intent to cause stress and anxiety to which he pleaded guilty. Count one of blackmail will continue to lie on file, Mr Bennett said.

Mr Bennett continued: “The defendant’s gambling habit worsened in the spring of 2020 and that worsened following the death of his father. It seems that his mother had managed to save some money and had savings of up to £180,000.

“His mother was agreeable to giving him fairly considerable amounts of money. In March 2020 she gave him £15,000 and in February 2020 she gave him £10,000.

“She asked him to move out of the family home and said that she would pay him £25,000 to do so. It seems that that didn’t work and that he stayed.

“By July 2020 the defendant began to make threats via phone calls demanding money from her.

“He threatened to upload photos to social media which he said would embarrass her. He accused her of lying about being ill and said he would get in touch with her employer. He threatened to roll his car down a hill.

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“As a result of those threats in the summer of 2020 she gave him £11,800. There were two payments of £5,000, one of £1,200, and one of £600.

“She then decided, in light of the threats, that she needed to get in touch with the police. What caused her to do that was a phone message from the defendant of a photo of him holding a lighter to her clothing de ella.

Tim Evans, mitigating, said: “The defendant has no previous convictions, he has three strong character references, and he has written a letter of apology to the court ahead of the pre-sentence report which goes into some detail about his state of mind. at the time. He looks back on that part of his life with absolute disbelief.

“His mother has found it within herself to still love her son. She is still supporting him. That is wonderful to know.

“The defendant entered a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity for the new indictment.

“He has been working now for some time and he does his best to avoid the adrenaline that he still no doubt feels when thinking about gambling which is part of the dreadful addiction.”

Judge Christopher Vosper QC spoke directly to Rowsell in court, saying: “It is frankly scarcely credible that a son could have behaved towards their mother the way you did at a time when she showed you nothing but kindness and had recently been widowed and was unwell. .

“You have a gambling habit or at least had one at the time. It was a habit you had before June 2020 but after your father died your mother thinks you gambled considerably more.

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“You knew she had savings. You were running up gambling debts and decided you wanted some of that money.

“I’ve seen the letter in which you express regret and of course you do when you’re sat before a court. But you showed no concern for your mother at all during the period of the indictment.”

Judge Vosper QC told Rowsell that he was fortunate his mother did not support the prosecution against him for blackmail.

He explained that he didn’t believe a short prison term was necessary and instead gave Rowsell a 12-month community order of 100 hours which included a rehabilitation course requirement of 15 hours.

While Rowsell of Wind Street, Porth, must pay a surcharge the judge told him he would not impose a financial penalty so the defendant could pay off debts.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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