Man admits Rooney blackmail plot
A handyman has admitted trying to blackmail Coleen Rooney for £5,000 over stolen personal photos.
Steven Malcolm, 42, changed his plea to guilty after giving evidence from the witness box on the third day of his trial at Manchester Crown Court.
Malcolm, who had initially denied handling stolen goods and blackmail, claimed he only acted as a "middle man" for his boss, Lee Platt, who he worked for as a handyman at his firm Fresh Interiors, a furniture business in Manchester.
He said Platt, who has already admitted blackmail, was a "gangster" involved in the plot and he only passed on information to arrange handover of the photos for cash.
Malcolm was subsequently arrested by undercover officers in a police sting at the handover meeting in Manchester in September last year.
The wife of the Manchester United and England striker had her Samsung digital camera stolen while watching a show in a VIP box at the MEN arena on May 24 last year.
The photos were touted for cash to newspapers and magazines before Manchester United was contacted with the £5,000 demand for return of the photos.
Under cross-examination by Deborah Gould, prosecuting, Malcolm eventually accepted he participated in the offences.
The defendant admitted having telephone contact with an undercover police officer posing as the Rooneys' representative, to arrange the meeting to hand over the goods and to pick up "an envelope".
"You accept participating in these offences?" Ms Gould said. "Up to an extent yes. My boss is trying to blackmail him, certainly, I knew that," Malcolm replied.