not a member? click here to sign up
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
Do you feel sorry for him?
It’s a very hard question to answer because I’m sitting in prison doing a five year sentence. What he went through was harsh but – in the same respect – he did stitch us up. And it kind of backfired on him too. He’s ended up with egg on his face. So, I wouldn’t say I feel sorry for him. No. I think the majority of this is his own doing.
Did you know Linley well?
Yeah, I knew him very well – socially. I first met him in the year 2000. I was invited to fourteen of his parties between 2005 and 2007. I was always invited to his home parties. In fact, I got handwritten invitations, done by his hand. I knew his wife and I met his father. Yeah (laughs), I knew him well, but he denied this initially. In the police interview, he denied he ever knew me. So, I produced evidence and photographs of us. Those were put to him over a series of interviews by the police. He said he remembered me. But the evidence was there that we knew each other.
It came out in court that you tried to hawk the tapes to several newspapers.
To be quite frank with you, some were scared off by the severity of the material. They were all worried about being sued. These were all Royal correspondents I was dealing with – they were worried about their reputations and what damage it might cause them with the Royal Family. I was also in touch with The Sun newspaper. Now this is in the trial: the guy who gave evidence, a guy called Duncan Larcombe, I offered the material to Duncan to print for no money whatsoever. He said that in court. That was a big step forward for us in court. We thought, ‘There you go, you know?’ We were dealing with quite a few newspapers at the time. For example, The Daily Express – the question was put to the woman I was dealing with: ‘Did the question of money ever arise?’ Her words were: she thought it was unusual dealing with me because I had no interest in money. No figures ever discussed.
Surely there’s no essential difference between blackmailing him and selling stories to a newspaper?