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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
It’s been reported that you forged a document to pretend the News Of The World had offered you £250,000 for the story?
I suspect that the News Of The World put this out to damage my reputation. That contract was given to me by a journalist in the News Of The World. The figure was discussed. It was written on a piece of paper.
What happened when you went to the Hilton Hotel for the meeting at which you were arrested?
We were in that room for an hour and a half. I’ve watched the tapes several times myself – there’s nothing ever said in that room to provoke an arrest. I think the police just got fed up waiting and they just decided to pounce. The door burst open and armed anti-terrorist officers entered the room. I was pulled out of sight of the hidden camera in the room and my arm was twisted behind my back; I was then cuffed in the toilet, and that’s when they broke my hand. I suffered a fracture to the fourth metacarpal when I was arrested. I think the anti-terrorist police are used to dealing with struggling terrorists rather than an alleged Royal blackmailer.
If you could go back in time, I bet you wouldn’t walk into that hotel room.
I don’t know (laughs). I might do!
So, was it worth it?
No. I wish I’d done things differently.
Do you feel you got a fair trial?
It was a complete circus. We did pursue the entrapment clause at court – but everything we asked for was rubbished by the judges. I was in court for four weeks. Court 11 in the Old Bailey. They had the Senior Treasury Counsel prosecuting me, who also prosecuted Jeffery Archer and Lord Brockett. We also had a top judge, Peter Cooke, who’s no softie. This didn’t do my finances any good. After the trial, they called me back for £120,000 of costs to pay to the prosecution.
In court, you listed a string of high-profile friends and acquaintances, all of whom were given a pseudonym from A-Z. In fact, you mentioned so many that you ran out of letters and had to refer to some as Z1, Z2 and Z3.