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Car Designers Blackmailed

Tue, 12 Feb 2008

A London court has found former design student Guy Lloyd-Parker guilty of blackmailing US car designers.

The London College of Fashion graduate had claimed that 95 car design sketches were stolen from him by two college lecturers in 1994, eventually resurfacing as final designs in the form of the Audi TT, BMW Z3, Mazda RX-8 and the Volvo XC90.

Lloyd-Parker, having failed to successfully sue the college, began sending menacing letters to California-based Volvo Design Director Geza Loczi, former BMW and Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker, and ex-Mazda designer Tsutomu Matano demanding £90,000.

The letters, allegedly entitled 'The Truth', called the designers 'liars, thieves and cheats' and threatened to expose the 'whole truth' to the world media if the demands were not met. Prosecuting attorney Ian Hope said all three victims had been facing smear campaigns after having reached high positions in their careers.

Lloyd-Parker, of Blackheath, south-east London, is scheduled to be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court.