Blackmail, extortion and demanding money with menaces.
17.—(1) It shall be an offence for any person who, with a view to gain for himself or another or with intent to cause loss to another, makes any unwarranted demand with menaces.
(2) For the purposes of this section—
(a) a demand with menaces shall be unwarranted unless the person making it does so in the belief—
(i) that he has reasonable grounds for making the demand, and
(ii) that the use of the menaces is a proper means of reinforcing the demand;
(b) the nature of the act or omission demanded shall be immaterial and it shall also be immaterial whether or not the menaces relate to action to be taken by the person making the demand.
(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—
(a) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both,
(b) on conviction on indictment to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years or to both.