By Lauren Crooks
A MANAGING director demanded money from a friend – warning he would reveal personal details about his marriage if he didn’t comply.
Allan Troup, 33, sent emails to Kenneth McEwan and his employees asking for £800.
But when Mr McEwan ignored his request for cash, devious Troup suggested he would reveal ‘sensitive’ details about his marriage.
The married father-of-two, who runs a CCTV business, signed up his victim to an online dating site without his knowledge during the three-month online onslaught.
Yesterday at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Troup pleaded guilty to breach of the peace between August and October 2007 by repeatedly sending emails to Mr McEwan and his staff, demanding money for him and enrolling him on an online dating service.
The court heard how Mr McEwan and his wife employed the cleaning company Troup used to run with his wife to maintain the premises of their own business.
The two couples became close friends over the course of a few months, with Troup even being described in court as McEwan’s ‘confidant’.
And in 2007, McEwan asked for Troup’s help with ‘suspicions’ about his marriage which involved Troup exploring his friend’s home computer and mobile telephones.
The issue was resolved by Troup – who has IT experience – but the pair grew distant shortly afterwards.
And McEwan heard nothing from his friend until months later in August 2007 – when he and the staff at his company started to receive emails from him demanding money.
Troup originally asked for £800, but as time went by his demands were lessened to £350.
Procurator Fiscal John Kirk told the court: “At first he was asking for assistance, but as the number of emails progressed the tenor of them started to suggest that the previous delicate matter that had been resolved might be revealed.
“The complainer was becoming alarmed and upset, particularly in regard to his position in his firm and respect among others.”
McEwan decided he had to put a stop to the emails, so he visited Troup at his Livingston home – recording their conversation on a dictaphone.
Mr Kirk told the court that it appeared that Troup was demanding money for a third party who may have assisted him in the earlier sensitive matter.
But the issue could not be settled, and eventually Mr McEwan decided to report Troup to the police.
Cops seized Troup’s computer, finding the source of many of the emails, and on interviewing him, he admitted he had sent some of the messages.
Defence agent Robert More said: “The accused had become somewhat of a confidant to the complainer and he was asked to look into fairly sensitive matters relating to his marital life and suspicions.
“This involved exploring and investigating the computer and the mobile telephones of the complainer and his wife.”
He added that his client had felt aggrieved when he helped his friend out, and Mr McEwan “washed his hands of him”, especially as he had incurred costs.
He said: “My client accepts the manner in which the grievance manifested itself was over zealous and completely unacceptable.”
Sheriff Nigel Morrison QC called for reports and Troup will be sentenced next month.