David Sloan, a printer from Northern Ireland has been found guilty of two counts of blackmail at Carlisle Crown Court.The jury decided that Sloan made a threatening call to the elderly parents of the British National Party Leader, and sent threatening messages to Mr Griffin’s daughter Jennifer Matthys.
The trial had heard how Sloan threatened to “break every bone” in Mrs Matthy’s body if the debt was not settled.
Sloan repeatedly told the court he did not threaten Mr Griffin or his family.
When he came to Wigton with three burly 'friends', and followed Mrs Matthys and her husband into Carlisle,he had only wanted to talk to her, he told the jury.
The jury did not believe Mr Sloan and found him guilty. Sloan tried to paint himself as the victim claiming that the British National Party had no reason not to pay his firm, Romac Press, and that he had suffered bankruptcy and a mental breakdown as a direct result of the alleged debt.
The truth is,however,very different.
The Treasurer of the British National Party,Clive Jefferson,had this to say:
"Romac Press (Company Registration Number NI 049858) was not a healthy business.
Romacs accounts show that they had severe financial problems prior to any relationship with the British National Party. Accounts for the period ending 31 March 2010 show significant liabilities.
Any disputed sum regarding work for the BNP would have made little difference to the prospect of the firm continuing trading."
The Party disputes the debt claimed by Sloan.
Clive explained "I got a phone call at the end of 2010 from someone claiming to be a solicitor who demanded £44,000 for Romac press.
I consulted our records and the figure showing was less than £24,000,also during the General Election of 2010 Romac Press failed to deliver dozens of Parliamentary Constituency leaflets which we had to have express printed elsewhere at great cost.
Also the vast bulk of the literature was delivered late causing our carefully laid plans for distribution to fail and making it necessary to use TNT at great cost to the party.
In summary far from us owing Romac Press our calculations showed that in point of fact they might well owe us money!
This was something not made clear in press reports and I wanted to set the matter straight for all our members and supporters."
Clive summed up his thoughts on the matter:"Rather than meeting and working this issue out in a professional and logical manner Sloan refused to talk to me about this supposed debt and instead threatened elderly ladies and pregnant girls, he deserves the jail he is about to get in my opinion."
Sloan was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on Friday, July 13.
Judge Peter Hughes QC said a custodial sentence was “inevitable.”