London

Hoax Tamara Ecclestone email 'for media experience'

Jakir Uddin
Image caption Jakir Uddin said he had not meant any harm against Miss Ecclestone

A man accused of helping the ex-fiance of Tamara Ecclestone to try to blackmail her for £200,000 has told a court he thought it would help his media studies.

Derek Rose was in a relationship with the daughter of F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone when she was 17.

Prosecutors claim Jakir Uddin told Ms Ecclestone's manager a newspaper had offered Mr Rose money for his story.

Mr Rose, 33, of Camden and Jakir Uddin, 20, of Birmingham both deny blackmail.

'Media opportunity'

Southwark Crown Court heard Mr Rose and student Mr Uddin plotted together to blackmail Ms Ecclestone, telling her manager Dana Malmstrom the money was offered for details of the former couple's relationship.

An email was sent to Ms Malmstrom in November 2011, with the pair posing as Mr Rose's official representative, the court heard.

No newspaper had made such an offer.

Mr Uddin told jurors he had looked up to Mr Rose, who had helped with a lifestyle magazine he had set up with a friend while studying at Coventry University.

He said he had filmed Mr Rose talking about his relationship with the eldest daughter of Bernie Ecclestone for a university project.

When it was rejected by his tutor, Mr Rose suggested to him that they offered it to the newspapers.

Mr Uddin said: "I saw it as a sort of favour for Mr Rose.

"I'd never contacted the papers before and it was an opportunity for me.

"Mr Rose pointed out to me that the story could be worth a quarter of a million pounds."

He denied he meant any harm against Ms Ecclestone, telling the court: "If Tamara was unhappy with anything, I wouldn't have wanted anything to do with it."

The trial continues.

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