A man has appeared in court charged with blackmail.

It is alleged Howard Jones, 59, attempted to extort £50,000 from a man on Bank Holiday Monday, threatening to shoot the man’s son if he did not comply.

Appearing before Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday afternoon via Gablecross police station, Jones, of Shrivenham Road, entered no pleas to a single charge of blackmail.

As an indictable-only offence, blackmail can only be dealt with in the crown court. Defence solicitor Alun Morgan indicated his client denied wrongdoing.

District Judge Tim Pattinson granted Jones bail with conditions not to contact the complainant and his son except through solicitors and not to go to a business address in Swindon.

He is due before Swindon Crown Court on June 26 for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

Elizabeth Cox appeared for the Crown.