Steven Malcome, 42 and Jennifer Green, 25 are accused of handling stolen goods having somehow obtained the camera which was lost by Coleen Rooney during a Black Eyed Peas gig at the MEN Arena in May 2010.
The alledged blackmailers, who were arrested at the time and suspected of stealing a Samsung camera from the famous footballer’s wife, deny the charges. One man, Lee Platt, who is belived to be an accomplice to the scam and is the partner of Jennifer Platt, has already admitted to blackmail and handling stolen goods.
The gang were arrested after attempting to sell the images to various celebrity-focused publications, including Hello, the Daily Star and The Sun. Hello magazine got in touch with Wayne Rooney’s agent who then got the police involved. After evidence was gathered through undercover operations the gang were arrested.
“The prosecution case is that these two defendants together with Lee Platt, who is the partner of Jennifer Green, came into possession of the camera and the memory card and then sought by unlawful means to make money out of the situation.”
“It would have been obvious to anyone who saw the contents of the memory card who the images on it were of and that they were personal family photographs of the Rooney family.
“Most importantly however, they would have realised, and did, that their contents had a commercial value because of the fact of Coleen and Wayne Rooney’s celebrity.
The court heard that the original price wanted for the cache of personal Rooney family photographs increased from £1,000 to £5,000 when the gang tried to capitalise on a Rooney scandal at the time. Lee Platt told Rooney’s agent, Paul Stretford “in view of some adverse publicity which Wayne Rooney had recently received, things had changed”.
The trial will resume today.
Main photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images