Apparently running a business [in Northern Ireland] is now a mitigating circumstance, even when it comes to sentencing after being convicted for blackmailing and threatening to shoot someone.. It’s previously been a factor in tax evasion cases.. From the BBC report
Two Claudy men have been jailed for a year after blackmailing a business associate and threatening to shoot him. Patrick Magowan, 46, and 32-year old Brian Conwell, were told they would have faced longer sentences. However, Judge Tom Burgess said the community relied so heavily on them for jobs there would be a real danger of the loss of employment. The victim was threatened with a gun and told he would be shot if he did not hand over £8,000.
Adds In the comments zone Gonzo points to a report of the initial charges – “inviting a person to provide money or property for terror purposes and demanding £8,000.”