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7.5.15.2 - Checklist: Blackmail

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Five elements the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

1. The accused made a demand; and

2. The demand was made with an intention to [gain money or property / cause someone to lose money or property]; and

3. The accused reinforced the demand with menaces; and

4. The accused intended the complainant to fear that the threat would be carried out if s/he didn’t comply with the demand; and

5. The demand was unwarranted.

Demand

1. Did the accused make a demand?

If yes, go to 2

If no, then the accused is not guilty of Blackmail

Intention to gain or cause loss

2. When s/he made the demand, did the accused intend to [gain money or property / cause someone to lose money or property]?

If yes, go to 3

If no, then the accused is not guilty of Blackmail

Menaces

3. Did the accused reinforce the demand with menaces?

Consider – Did the accused threaten to do something if the demand was not met?

If yes, go to 4

If no, then the accused is not guilty of Blackmail

Intention that complainant fear that threat be carried out

4. Did the accused intend that the complainant would fear that the threat would be carried out if the demand was not met?

If yes, go to 5

If no, then the accused is not guilty of Blackmail

Demand was unwarranted

5. Was the demand unwarranted?

5.1. Did the accused believe that s/he had reasonable grounds for making the demand?

If yes, go to 5.2 

If no, then the accused is guilty of Blackmail
(as long as you answered yes to questions 1, 2, 3 and 4)

5.2. Did the accused believe that the use of threats was a proper means of reinforcing the demand?

If yes, then the accused is not guilty of Blackmail

If no, then the accused is guilty of Blackmail
(as long as you answered yes to questions 1, 2, 3 and 4) 

Last updated: 4 December 2012

See Also

7.5.15 - Blackmail

7.5.15.1 - Charge: Blackmail