Woman jailed over threats to suicide pact pair

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A CONWOMAN behind an “extraordinary web of deceit and lies” has been jailed for three years for trying to extort money from a mother and daughter who later died in an apparent suicide pact.

Linsey Cotton, of Addiewell, West Lothian, threatened and tried to extort money from Nicola McDonough, 23, and her mother Margaret, 52. They died after being found injured at the Premier Inn in Greenock in May 2013.

The two women died after being discovered at the Premier Inn, Greenock.

The two women died after being discovered at the Premier Inn, Greenock.

As part of the complex scam, Cotton said if the women did not give her money they would go to prison for 20 years.

Jailing Cotton at Paisley Sheriff Court today, Sheriff Robert Fife told her she was responsible for an “extraordinary, complex web of deceit and lies”.

Following the sentencing today, Detective Inspector David Wagstaff, the officer in charge of the inquiry said: “This was a unique, protracted and challenging inquiry. I am relieved that the McDonough family have been spared the ordeal of a trial.

“The McDonough family are a loving caring family, as a result of their care and compassion Linsey Cotton was able to manipulate them and dupe them into believing her elaborate and evil lies over a 12 month period.

Nicola McDonough.

Nicola McDonough.

“The McDonough family have remained dignified throughout this terrible ordeal and my thoughts remain with them.”

The McDonough family said: “We wish to express our thanks to Police Scotland and the COPFS for their professionalism and dedication in bringing this evil individual to justice. In particular, we want to thank the police liaison officer who has been a source of information, assistance and strength over the entire two and a half year period. There will be no further comment from us and we would ask that you respect our request for privacy.”

Margaret McDonough.

Margaret McDonough.