By Herald on November 13, 2020.
A Lethbridge man hopes to avoid a jail sentence when he returns to court next year on charges of extortion and being unlawfully in a house to commit extortion.
Oluwaseye Morawo pleaded guilty to both charges Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court, where he admitted to entering a woman’s residence Sept. 14, 2019, and forcing her to return money he had paid her to rent a room in her apartment.
During the month of August last year Morawo had arranged to rent a room in the woman’s residence. On one occasion he and another man arrived at the residence to view the room, and later Morawo e-transferred her a deposit of $500.
On Aug. 31 they showed up at her house and Morawo said he no longer wanted to rent the room, and demanded she return the deposit. She didn’t immediately return it and later learned she was not obligated to, especially since she had taken the room off the market after she received the deposit.
She texted Morawo and said she would not return the deposit, and after he threatened to take her to court, he and his friend showed up at her residence and walked in without her permission. When the woman told them to leave or she would call the police, Morawo grabbed her cellphone.
Fearing for her safety — the other man would not let her leave her residence — she drove to her bank with the two men closely following her in another vehicle. While she waited for the cash from the drive-through teller, Morawo stood in front of her vehicle to prevent her from leaving.
She gave him the money and he left the area, but police found him later and he was arrested and charged.
Lethbridge lawyer Greg White requested a pre-sentence report, which will provide the court with Morawo’s personal circumstances to help the judge render an appropriate sentence, and the matter was adjourned to Feb. 16, 2021. White told court he and the Crown will not have a joint submission for sentencing, and he will likely recommend a conditional sentence, which often includes house arrest and curfew.
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