Man found guilty of blackmail

FACING JAIL: Peter Owens
FACING JAIL: Peter Owens

A THUG is facing jail after he was found guilty of threatening to stab a car wash boss and set fire to the business if he was not paid £1,000.

Peter Owens, 42, was convicted of making the threats after he claimed the car wash damaged the expensive wheels on his Jaguar car.

He was found guilty of two counts of blackmail after a three day trial at Teesside Crown Court.

But he was cleared by the jury of a third charge of threatening to have the car wash operator kneecapped.

He returned to the car wash three weeks later.

The operator said Owens told him if he did not get £500 he would be “stabbed up”.

Owens went back to the car wash again in June and told a worker that he would come back when the business was closed and set fire to it.

The car wash operator, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the trial he took the alleged threats seriously and felt intimidated.

Owens, of Sydenham Road, Hartlepool, denied making any physical threats but accepted asking for £1,000 which he claimed he was owed after losing money when he sold the car.

He will be sentenced on a date to be fixed after background and medical reports have been prepared.

Buy Friday’s Hartlepool Mail to read the full story.