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A Rogue's Gallery
IAN STRACHAN was jailed for blackmailing a member of the Royal Family over allegations of a sex and drugs ‘scandal’. But a media blackout ensured that little of the substance of the case was reported.
Jason O'Toole, 06 May 2009
The so called Royal Blackmail court case last year sent reverberations through the entire English upper crust. It had all the tabloid ingredients: sex, drugs, clandestine homosexuality, blood money, a Republican connection and a blackmail plot that must have deeply unnerved the Queen herself.
One of the men convicted of blackmail is Sean McGuigan, an Irish expatriate, originally from Belfast and living in London. The other is 32-year-old Ian Strachan, a Scot who also lived in Ireland for some 18 months, and is dating an Irishwoman. He describes her as the love of his life.
According to some media reports, Strachan and McGuigan had videotaped a Royal ‘aide’ boasting of sex acts with a prominent (male) member of the Royal Family. Others suggested that he had recorded images of that same individual performing oral sex on a fellow male. The recordings were made surreptitiously.
What is certain is that Strachan and McGuigan had been involved in discussions with the News of the World about publishing a story based on the contents of the covert recordings. According to Ian Strachan, the newspaper had offered £250,000 for the ‘story’. The News of the World denies this, indicating that they were prepared to pay a far smaller sum. Hot Press understands that in fact £50,000 had been offered.
With the News Of The World offer in their back pocket, Strachan and McGuigan made the Royal family aware that they had incriminating tapes. They then went to meet a ‘conduit’ to the Royal Family at the Hilton Hotel on September 11, 2007 and, after a potential £50,000 payoff had been discussed, were arrested. The tape, which was recovered from them at the Hilton, showed what British newspapers insisted on calling the ‘Royal aide’, described only in court as ‘Witness D’, taking drugs and boasting about a sexual liaison with his employer.
While the name of what the British papers categorised as a ‘minor’ Royal could not be reported in the British press, it has subsequently emerged that the Royal is far more prominent than had been suggested. In a plethora of reports originating outside the UK, the target of the blackmail attempt has been identified as Princess Margaret’s son, Viscount David Linley, who is the twelfth heir to the throne of England. Ian Strachan independently confirmed his identity to Hot Press.