herald

Thursday 17 October 2019

Football star jumped out of hotel window, blackmail trial told

Natalie Wood outside court
Natalie Wood outside court

A Premier League footballer was blackmailed after being filmed in a hotel room with a woman who was not his partner, a court has heard.

The player, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had previously met 28-year-old Natalie Wood on two occasions after sending her a message on social media.

Bristol Crown Court heard that Wood hatched a plot to blackmail the sportsman with three men, including former Take Me Out contestant Tyrone Coleman (34).

She arranged to meet the player in a hotel room last year, allegedly leaving a spare key card with co-defendants Nathan Coleman (38) and Prince Rowe (37).

A jury heard the men burst into the room, causing the player - clad only in underwear - to jump out of a window and flee from a fire escape.

The court heard that the player sent Wood money to book a hotel room on three occasions.

"The plan was for Prince Rowe and Nathan Coleman to burst into the room and then capture an incriminating image. This image taken would then be used to blackmail and extort money," said Simon Jones, prosecuting.

Rolex

Wood sat on the bed with the man, who took off his designer tracksuit and Rolex watch, before the two men entered the room a short time later.

"The complainant exited via the window in his underpants," Mr Jones added. "His partner received a message from him telling her to lock all the doors because he had been robbed."

At 10.20pm, the player received a text from Ms Wood's phone saying: "I don't really want to expose you to the media but if you don't respond within 24 hours then you leave me no choice."

Giving evidence to the jury via video link, the footballer said he had a partner but had been intimate with Ms Wood.

Ms Wood has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to blackmail.

Mr Coleman, of Sussex, denies conspiracy to blackmail and two counts of theft relating to the footballer's watch and tracksuit. His brother Tyrone Coleman, of Birmingham, denies conspiracy to blackmail.

Mr Rowe, of Birmingham, denies conspiracy to blackmail and two counts of theft.

Ras Robinson denies a charge of handling stolen goods.

The trial continues.

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