Nicholas Housden, aged 22, had previously pleaded guilty to demanding money with menace from businessman Stuart Henderson of Plymouth.
He admitted emailing former employer Mr Henderson on November 2, 2011 from his own email address, claiming his name had been "blackened" by the businessman after he quit the firm Elite Development Centre which offered football training for youngsters.
Prosecutor David Gittins told the court how Housden, from Coleford, Gloucestershire, had written a long email to Mr Henderson saying he had a "dilemma" over the "disrespect" he had been shown by his former boss.And yet, despite this, he got off with a lesser sentence because...he was incompetent!
Judge Darlow noted the Court of Appeal designated blackmail as a serious offence, stating "it's ugly and it's vicious".
He said: "The purpose behind this lengthy and lucid email was to cause its recipient distress, embarrassment and financial ruin." He said the offence had passed the custody threshold, but accepted Housden's early guilty plea, the fact the blackmail attempt was "unsophisticated" and "did not involve the threat of injury to him or his family".
Judge Darlow sentenced Housden to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, passed a 24 month supervision order and ordered the completion of 200 hours unpaid work and six sessions of a gambling specified activity programme requirement.You couldn't make it up, could you?
Mind you, this is a judge that seems to believe prison doesn't work, and has a history of nonsense statements, and thinks he knows better than the jury, so why expect anything else?