McDonald, of Lewisham Way, London, started making the calls at around 8am and then called numerous times throughout the day. He threatened to both harm and kidnap the victims as well as their extended family which included children unless his demands were met.
He claimed the money was owed in connection to a property in Spain and told the victim he was travelling home through France and would attend the shop and hurt the family if he didn’t receive the cash.
Having discussed the threats, the family agreed to pay McDonald a quantity of money and transferred this into an account. However, McDonald was not happy and wanted more money and continued to call them throughout the day making further threats to hurt them.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Martin Stevens said: ‘McDonald blackmailed the victims by making numerous, serious threats of violence and kidnap. The victims believed these threats would be carried out which caused them to not only fear for their own lives, but for the lives of their family.
‘They attempted to appease him by transferring some money, however, McDonald was not content with this and was relentless in his demands, continuing to call them and make further threats throughout the day. We work hard to support victims, no matter the type of crime, and his sentence reflects the seriousness of this offence.’