Woman to stand trial over extortion accusations

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A woman is to stand trial accused of extorting and stealing more than £12,000 from a series of elderly men, allegedly sexually assaulting one victim and threatening to make false allegations to police unless they handed over money.

Michelle Carnegie faces charges spanning the course of more than five years from March 2010 to October last year.

She is first said to have targeted a 66-year-old man at an address in Forfar - claiming that unless he handed over £1830 she would make false allegations against him to the press - and that she subsequently got the money.

Carnegie is then said to have stolen £80 from a 63-year-old man, £60 from a 76-year-old man, and £200 from a 67-year-old man.

Prosecutors say she then sexually assaulted a 69-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and stole £300 from him.

Carnegie is then alleged to have stolen £500 from 77-year-old man.

She faces another charge of extortion, this time against the 63-year-old victim, allegedly extorting £9360 from him over the course of five and a half years, having him hand over money under threat of reporting him to police for serious sex assaults he had not committed.

Carnegie is then said to have extorted £300 from a man and woman by threatening them with violence between August and October last year. She is also said to have assaulted the woman twice during that period.

A final charge alleges Carnegie attempted to extort money from another victim by threatening to report him to police for a crime he had not committed.

Carnegie, 33, of HMP Cornton Vale, faces a total of 12 charges on indictment at Forfar Sheriff Court.

That includes three charges of extortion, one of attempted extortion, five of theft, one of sexual assault and two of assault.

Sheriff Pino di Emidio set a further pre-trial hearing in the case later this month.

Given the nature of the allegations, we have opted not to name the victims involved in the case.