The Daily Mail reported that the scorned secretary blackmailed her former boss after he broke off their affair by demanding £200,000 to drop a false rape claim she made against him.
Married Dilrushi Mendis, 40, from Cricklewood, north west London, sought revenge on wealthy businessman Nihal Seneviratne by accusing him of rape after he ended their affair and sacked her.
The Sri Lankan mother-of-one claimed she was raped by Mr Seneviratne after inviting him for an overnight stay at her home, and demanded £200,000 in return for ‘dropping a case’ against him.
Mr Seneviratne, who always denied the claim, was arrested and spent three months on police bail until he was eventually told that no charges would be brought against him.
Mendis has now been handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to blackmail at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday.
She was also originally charged with perverting the course of justice by making a malicious allegation of sexual assault, but this charge was dropped by the prosecution.
The court heard how Mendis began working for Mr Seneviratne in a secretarial position in 2008 and, despite both being married, the pair began a sexual relationship.
Prosecutor Adam King told the court: ‘They were both married, but an on-off sexual relationship began and he helped her financially.’
However, in September 2013, Mr Seneviratne ended her employment and the relationship after learning that her husband was moving to the UK from Sri Lanka.
Mr King said: ‘She did not take it well. She pestered him with phone calls and he felt she had somehow gained access to his email account because she knew about his restaurant plans on Valentine’s.’
The court heard Mendis turned up near his house demanding to be seen when he was at home with his wife and daughter on Valentine’s Day last year, and also sent sexually explicit ‘revenge porn’ images to his friends and family.
Mr King told the court: ‘In February 2014, she telephoned Mr Seneviratne, who was at home with his family, saying she was outside and demanded to be seen.
‘He met her around the corner and agreed to see her the next day, but broke the date and Mendis phoned him hundreds of times.
‘She sent him a text which read: ‘If you do not come and see me I’ll do something terrible to you.’
‘She asked Mr Seneviratne, knowing he was a wealthy man, for £40,000 to £50,000 to open a hair salon.’
The following month, Mendis invited him to stay at her apartment and Mr Seneviratne turned up with a mutual friend.
He claims they slept in separate rooms but Mendis reported to the police that the men arrived with alcohol and she had two or three drinks before Mr Seneviratne entered her room and raped her, the court heard.
Mr Seneviratne was visiting Sri Lanka when he learned of her allegation and the same mutual friend acted as a go-between, communicating Mendis would drop the case for £200,000.
However, Mr Seneviratne refused to be blackmailed and was arrested on June 16, 2014 when he returned to Britain.
‘She was not paid during her employment by this wealthy and successful businessman and was on benefits,’ said Miss Nerida Harford-Bell, defending.
‘He did lead her to believe he would leave his wife and then live with her in Sri Lanka. That was a foolish dream.
‘It was a demand for money so that she could be free.
‘He had made threats to her family that he would make their lives difficult in Sri Lanka and Mrs Mendis was told she was: ‘One of many women in his life’ and was a ‘prostitute’.’
Mendis pleaded guilty to one count of blackmail when she appeared in court on Friday.
Sentencing her, Judge Peter Clarke QC said: ‘I pass a sentence on the basis you have used the criminal justice system to attempt to get a large sum of money from your ex-lover.
‘There was obviously some bad blood between you and you demanded £200,000 and it was linked to a rape allegation that would be withdrawn.
‘There were matters where you were wronged and part of your motive was impure, it was revenge on a man you felt had betrayed you.’
As well as the suspended sentence, he also ordered Mendis to complete 80 hours community service work.