A Cardigan woman told a man in his 80s: give me £20,000 or I’ll tell the police you tried to rape me, a jury heard today.

Linda Mary Thomas, aged 61, allegedly frightened him into handing over £10,000.

And the only reason she did not receive the remaining £10,000 was that bank staff became worried about how much cash he was withdrawing, it was claimed.

Thomas, of Briscwm Cottages, is on trial at Swansea crown court having denied a charge of blackmail.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told the jury the woman had washed some bed sheets for him.

She had given him a peck on the cheek when she arrived and as she left he had kissed her on her lips and given her a “cwtch”, or a cuddle.

He said he then received a telephone call from her demanding £10,000 or she would tell the police he had touched her breasts.

“It didn’t happen. No way at all, not in a month of Sundays,” he said. “I was embarrassed. I wanted to get rid of her.”

He said he withdrew £8,000 from his bank in Cardigan and gave it to Thomas, but she said it was not enough. He withdrew a further £2,000 and gave it to her.

He said Thomas telephoned him again and demanded a further £10,000, this time threatening to tell the police he had tried to rape her.

The man said he went to his bank to withdraw the money but by then staff had become concerned. They persuaded him to explain why he needed so much cash and afterwards they contacted social services who called in the police.

Thomas was arrested and denied making any such threats or receiving the £10,000.

Dyfed Thomas, prosecuting, said there was CCTV footage showing the man handing Thomas what the prosecution say was an envelope full of money, although Thomas might say he was giving her some vegetables.

It was true, he added, that the £10,000 was never found. But there was evidence of the withdrawals.

Dean Pulling, the barrister representing Thomas, asked the man if he had, in fact, given the money to members of his family.

He said he had given it to Thomas.

The trial continues.