A woman was jailed for four years after blackmailing her Muslim friend by threatening to expose her as a terrorist sympathiser.

Mary-Nona Sturges forced 21-year-old student Nabilah Hussain to hand over at least £3,200 by claiming to have a recording of a row the pair had about the 2005 terrorist attacks in London.

Sturges, 54, of Totnes, Devon, claimed to have taped Miss Hussain saying “the British deserve what they get” and threatened to take it to the police unless she was given money.

Sturges, herself a Muslim convert, was found guilty following a three-week trial at Truro Crown Court of three counts of blackmail and three counts of deception in September and October 2006.

She was sentenced to four years for each count, to run concurrently, and ordered to pay the Hussain family £3,200 compensation and legal costs of £8,500.

By Tom Palmer