A concerning incident regarding a stolen dog has come to light from the U.K. as a man in Wales withheld his ex-partner’s dog and car keys. Additionally, he demanded a sum of money for crack cocaine in exchange for their return.
Drug addict ex steals dog and demands $200 for its return
A man suffering from drug addiction in Glynoch, Pontypridd, Wales, stole his former partner’s dog and car keys. He insisted she give him £200 in exchange for returning them, threatening to withhold them otherwise. Eventually, he relented and returned the dog after receiving £100.
The offender is Michael Gent, aged 34. He had a tumultuous relationship with Samantha Gent. On Sep. 3, 2023, Samantha contacted her mother, Katrina Oliver, reporting that Michael had taken her dog named Manny along with a set of car keys.
A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, revealed that Gent was desperate to acquire £200 for purchasing crack cocaine.
Ms. Oliver had requested her son to withdraw money from the ATM, and they were preparing to head to Michael’s residence when they unexpectedly encountered him on their way, walking towards their house.
Prosecutor James Evans stated that the dog was with Gent. Following a brief negotiation, Gent agreed to accept £100 and returned Manny. He asserted that the car keys were located at a specified place, but despite efforts from Ms. Oliver and her son, they couldn’t locate them. Subsequently, the police were contacted, leading to Gent’s arrest. The police found the car keys upon searching his residence.
Gent admitted guilt to the charge of blackmail. In addition, the court learned of his extensive criminal history. He has 17 prior convictions for various offenses, such as criminal damage, public order violations, road traffic infractions, breaching a restraining order, racially aggravated harassment, and having a bladed weapon.
In defense, Sol Hartley argued that his client’s offense lacked sophistication and didn’t involve any violence or threats of violence. Moreover, he noted that Gent’s time in custody meant that he abstained from using drugs and had begun acquiring literacy skills. Gent had also wished to reach out to his two children.