A MOTHER-OF-SIX who embarked on an affair with a former flame later threatened to tell his wife and children about their relationship unless he transferred her £2,000.

And when the man missed the payment deadline, Amanda Shepherd sent screenshots of the pair’s romantic conversations to his family, including to his 13-year-old daughter.

Shepherd, formerly of Blackburn, first had a relationship with the man in the 1990s before the couple went their separate ways, both later settling down, getting married and having children.

But a chance encounter in a supermarket in Taplow, Buckinghamshire, almost 20 years later led to Shepherd reaching out to the man on social media, despite the fact they were both married with children.

Prosecuting the case at Preston Crown Court (Sessions’ House) Lisa Worsley said: “The victim claims that they communicated for around four to six weeks, but at that point his teenage daughter saw the messages and confronted him in front of his wife - that led to him being kicked out of his address, with his wife then telling his employer about the fraud convictions he had.

“She emptied the joint account, and he was forced to move in with his mother.”

Some time later he arranged to meet up with Shepherd, to put an end to their relationship as he attempted to reconcile with his wife. Yet seven years later, in the summer of 2020, he once again reached out to Shepherd on social media.

Ms Worsley said: “He described himself as going through a difficult period within his relationship with his wife. He said he did not have any intention to meet or get back into a relationship with Ms Shepherd at that stage due to the fact she was in Blackburn and he was in Maidenhead.

“On Monday August 3, Ms Shepherd told him she was getting a £50,000 wedding planning job but that she required some funds up front to get the contract. She asked if he was able to help and he said he didn’t have immediate funds available.”

A few days later the 51-year-old started messaging the man again, saying she had screenshots of their conversations and threatening to send them to his wife and children.

She went on to say she would delete the evidence if the £2,000 that she needed to secure the work contract was in her account by 5pm the next day.

Ms Worsley said: “At this stage he felt he had no other option and contemplated taking his own life, but he spoke to his sister who advised him to contact the police. While he was at the station, he received further messages from the woman.

“At around 5.15pm he received a call from his wife saying she needed to speak to him. Ms Shepherd had gone through with her threat and his wife had received messages from her.

“He was fearful as to what his wife would do as a result. She became angry with him and told him that the message had also been sent to their three daughters.”

Defending Shepherd now of Pennine Road, Slough, Clare Thomas said her client had several significant mental health problems and was full of regret for her actions.

Ms Thomas said: “She accepts responsibility for her actions and accepts there have been very significant consequences.

“In relation to the money, she was under the impression he had the means to pay it. It was a sum that she thought he had.

“This offending took place over a relatively short period of time and it is against the background of someone who has significant mental health problems who was not thinking clearly.

“She bitterly regrets her actions and the consequences of the actions.”

Shepherd, who had no previous convictions, admitted one count of blackmail. Jailing her for 20 months suspended for 24 months, Mr Recorder Tom Gilbart said: “This is a desperately sad case for everyone involved.

“What you did was cruel. The man’s wife and children were entirely innocent and did not deserve to be dragged into this by you.” Shepherd must also complete 40 days of rehabilitation activity requirements and will be subject to curfew.