Published Tuesday, 26 August 2014
The woman will appear in court again at the end of September. (© UTV)
Appearing in the dock of Newtownards Magistrates' Court in a navy blouse and white skirt, 52-year-old Shirley Kathlene Scott confirmed that she understood the six charges against her and that she was not objecting to a preliminary enquiry.
Scott, from Ashley Park in Millisle, faces four counts of blackmailing money from Witness A "with menaces" on dates between 1 July 2000 and 23 April last year and two further counts of acquiring criminal property amounting to a total of £221,000 between 1 April 2003 and 23 April last year.
Although no facts of the alleged extortion plot, one of the longest to come before Northern Irish courts, were opened during the hearing, a prosecution lawyer confirmed there was a case to answer.
Scott declined to either give evidence herself or to call evidence on her own behalf and her solicitor had no contrary submissions.
District Judge Mark Hamill returned Scott to Downpatrick Crown Court for trial, ordering her to appear on 26 September for arraignment.
She was released on her own bail of £350 and barred from contacting the alleged male victim, known only as Witness A, with Judge Hamill extending legal aid for a barrister to be instructed in the case.
© UTV News