Insurer tries to throw out blackmailer's case

Christopher John Robinson has been found guilty of blackmailing IAG after his insurance claim was rejected.
Christopher John Robinson has been found guilty of blackmailing IAG after his insurance claim was rejected.

Insurance giant IAG is moving to throw out a lawsuit brought against it by a now-convicted blackmailer whose luxury Northland home burned down half a decade ago.

Christopher John Robinson was sentenced to nine months' home detention after he attempted to blackmail the insurance company and get $5 million from it.

Robinson's home inland from Kerikeri, was destroyed by fire in 2011.

Robinson, now 68 and bankrupt, was charged with arson after the fire, but this was withdrawn last year.

State Insurance, an IAG brand, declined Robinson's claim after concluding the fire was deliberately lit.

In May 2013, Robinson emailed IAG's lawyer and suggested a settlement offer either immediately in confidence or openly through the media.

Two more threatening emails were sent that month. Robinson's threats included using a website to destroy IAG's reputation, unless his monetary demands were met.

Since Robinson's sentencing, a halt on a High Court civil suit he and his wife launched against the company in 2013 has lifted.

It was revealed during a brief hearing before Justice John Faire in Auckland last Wednesday that IAG is applying to strike out the Robinsons' claim.

The case is due to come back before the court later this month.

- NZ Herald

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