A FATHER has described his terrifying ordeal of being blackmailed by a criminal gang after the ring leader was jailed for 11 years.

Norman Goodey, who runs an engineering business in Garsington, said a weight had been lifted off his shoulders after discovering the 'cunning man' behind the campaign had been locked up.

But the 58-year-old didn't get the chance to see Michael Camara sentenced in court as he said he was given the wrong date for the hearing.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail yesterday he said: "It would have felt like justice had been served if I could have looked him in the eye and seen him get led away."

Describing it as a scene "straight out of the movies" Mr Goodey was forced to pay £81,000 by an organised gang who threatened him and his family.

Camara, 41, of Glyndon Road, London, who Judge Peter Ross said was the ring leader of the group, was jailed at Oxford Crown Court on Wednesday for three counts of blackmail, possessing an imitation firearm and three counts of possessing articles for fraud.

During the trial, the court heard how Mr Goodey, who owns N Goodey Engineering Ltd, in Garsington, had been in talks with Camara and another man known as Richard – who claimed to be Colonel Gaddafi's personal bodyguard – about the sale of tractors, cement mixers and generators from his plant and machinery business and exporting them to Libya.

But at a meeting between the parties the court was told things turned sour when the pair pulled out a bag full of black paper.

The duo poured liquid on the paper, turning it into one £50 and two £20 notes but Mr Goodey refused to take part in the "black money" scam, which involves dying bank notes.

After weeks of unrelenting phone calls and demands, Mr Goodey called police in June 2012.

His family were removed from their home and cameras were installed throughout the property for fear of continued surveillance by the gang.

The court heard the pair later demanded sums of £35,000 and £46,000 to pay for cleaning products for the black money from Mr Goodey.

Alexander Krickler, defending, said Camara's aggressive and violent behaviour was "out of character".

He said: "He has no history of violence or anything like that.

"But if your honour finds him the leader there is very little I can say to protest your honour other than this was wholly out of character."

During his sentencing, Judge Peter Ross, called Camara a "cunning man" and believed him to be the ring leader of an "organised criminal gang".

He said: "I have no doubt that at least one if not more who gave evidence on your behalf were part of that gang.

"You clearly were involved in what has become known as a black money scam.

"And it just so happens that Mr Goodey is someone who did not want to be part of this scam and you threatened him and his family.

"This was a very sophisticated, well oiled criminal scheme."

Mr Goodey, a Rotarian of the Oxford ISIS branch, said after the sentencing: "The one mistake they made was the Queen's diamond jubilee.

"All the banks were shut that day, so because nowhere was open it wasn't my fault that I couldn't get the money.

"And I sat down all day and just couldn't take it anymore so I phoned the police. They came up and had cameras installed in my house, my wife had to stay away for a fortnight and they looked after me."

He added: "Looking at my life, it is like watching something out of TV. They were very clever at what they did. I'm completely relieved now especially knowing that he's been jailed for such a long time. My family and I are looking to move forward from this and carry on and try to return to normal."

Mr Goodey said he was disappointed he had been incorrectly informed by the witness service, as he thought Camara's sentencing was today.

Camara was sentenced to five years imprisonment for the blackmail charges, four years imprisonment for the imitation firearm to run consecutively and two years imprisonment for the possession of articles for fraud to run consecutively.

We asked Thames Valley Police about the wrong date being given to Mr Goodey and spokesperson Hannah Jones apologised for the lack of communication.

She said: "The Witness Care Unit works in conjunction with its partner agencies.

"Although sentencing hearings are routinely fixed by the court directly after a conviction, this was not the case for Michael Camara, and an estimated sentencing date was given. 

"The sentencing date was subsequently fixed and, unfortunately this information was not communicated to Mr Goodey, for which we would like to apologise."