Three teens blackmailed a man into turning over his car and hundreds of pounds in cash after ensnaring him in an online dating scam.

Arvin Braich, 23, of Friary Island, Wraysbury, appeared before Reading Crown Court last Friday (June 21) alongside Jay Sidhu, 23, of Woodhouse Road, Hayes, and Jasmine Sian, 22, of Coppermill Road, Wraysbury.

A jury convicted the trio of blackmail last year over an elaborate scam they masterminded when they were all aged just 17.

The group targeted a man - described by Judge Heather Norton as a person of "very high reputation" - on an online dating site.

Using an alias and photos of Ms Sian, they tricked the man into believing he was communicating with a 17-year-old girl.

The 'girl' agreed to meet the man, and he drove to Sunningdale Railway Station to pick her up.

Upon arrival, however, he was instead confronted by Braich and Sidhu.

Judge Heather Norton said the man did 'nothing wrong' in agreeing to meet with someone he believed to be 17 years old - but the group conspired to use the fact against him.

The judge stated: "He was threatened that he would be disclosed to his family and employers as a paedophile."

Initially, the youths demanded £250 from their terrified victim.

After he withdrew this amount from a cashpoint, however, they demanded more money - and insisted that the man give them his car as collateral.

Judge Norton said plainly: "He [the victim] took the train home."

The defendants drove around in the man's car for four days before the matter was reported to the police.

It took five years for the case to get to trial.

Judge Norton said this wait was unfair on both the victim and the defendants.

In the interim, Braich, Sidhu and Sian appeared to have matured.

The judge remarked: "All three of you have gained good qualifications, and are working."

On this basis, Braich received an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

He must complete 150 hours of unpaid work, 15 rehabilitation activity days, and pay £600 compensation.

Sidhu was jailed 13 months, suspended for 12 months, and must complete 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £600 in compensation.

Sian - who Judge Norton said played a 'pivotal role' in the scam - was jailed for 13 months, suspended for 12 months.

She must also carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £600 compensation.