Mother-of-three, 46, tried to fool police into arresting her French ex

Mother-of-three, 46, tried to fool police into arresting her rich French ex by inventing £65,000 international blackmail plot

  • Tracy Barron, from Ballater, claimed her ex-lover tried to extort her for £65,000
  • Barron, 46, said he threatened to release intimate pictures of her to her family
  • She even convinced her friend to post the fake extortion letter to her from Paris
  • Her lies were exposed when police tied DNA evidence on the stamp to her friend 

A mother-of-three attempted to trick police and Interpol into arresting her French ex-lover by claiming she had been the victim of a £65,000 international extortion plot.

Tracy Barron, 46, from Ballater, Aberdeenshire, claimed her rich oil worker ex-boyfriend had attempted to blackmail her for the five-figure sum by threatening to release intimate pictures of her to her family and the press.

The multi-national deception even saw the mother convince her male friend to post her fake extortion letter back to Scotland from Paris, a court has heard. 

But Barron’s string of lies were exposed when police managed to tie DNA evidence on the stamp to her friend. The man was arrested and revealed details of her scheme.

Tracy Barron (right), 46, from Ballater, Aberdeenshire, claimed her rich ex-boyfriend tried to blackmail her for £65,000 by threatening to release intimate pictures of her to her family

In June 2019, Barron had contacted police claiming she had been the victim of attempted extortion by her ex-partner, fiscal depute Lucy Simpson told Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Barron told police that she had received a typed letter from her former partner requesting she transfer £65,000 within 14 days otherwise ‘intimate images’ of her would be shared, according to Ms Simpson.

She told officers she had been ‘living in constant fear’ and a six-month-long investigation was launched involving Police Scotland’s International Division, French authorities and Interpol.

Ms Simpson said Barron also told police she was especially worried about the two-week deadline on the letter and ‘at points expressed her dissatisfaction that her ex had not yet been arrested’.

After police discovered the DNA profile of Barron’s friend on the letter, he was cautioned and interviewed at Kittybrewster Police Station, where he revealed Barron’s role in the plot.

He claimed she had asked him to post the letter when she found out he was flying from Aberdeen Airport to Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris for work.

He told police that he thought the request was ‘harmless’ and that Barron had told him it could help her in her separation case against her former partner.

The mother-of-three was charged with wasting police time after the elaborate scheme was revealed.

Barron pleaded guilty to wasting police time and as an alternative to a prison sentence, Sheriff McLaughlin sentenced her to a two-year supervision order and 200 hours unpaid work. 

Her multi-national deception even saw the mother convince her male friend to post her fake extortion letter back to Scotland from Paris, Aberdeen Sheriff Court (pictured) has heard

Defence solicitor Peter Keene told the court that Barron had become an ’emotional wreck’ following the breakdown of her original marriage and the relationship that followed.

He said being isolated from friends saw her develop a kind of ‘siege mentality’ after the demise of her relationship with the wealthy French oil worker.

‘It would be fair to say that Mrs Barron had reached a point of rock-bottom in her life,’ he said.

‘She understands this is a serious matter that caused officers a great deal of time and effort to investigate.

‘She is utterly horrified at having to come to court today.’

Sheriff Morag McLaughlin told Barron: ‘I think you can be in no doubt about how serious a position you find yourself in today.

‘This is serious in terms of the number of hours of work that the police have put into it and the amount of extensive, complicated inquiries and police resources.

‘Not to mention the unfortunate man who was arrested and questioned by police.’ 

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