A prostitute and her husband have been jailed for robbing a young man with the threat of reporting him for a made-up rape.

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Drug addict Sharon Skoulding stood in the middle of the road to flag down the victim’s car before getting in and demanding £40 for a heroin fix for her and her husband.

As the pair argued, Karl Skoulding got into the car, threatening the victim with a knuckleduster and showing him a black handle he thought was a knife, before forcing him to drive to a cashpoint to withdraw the money.

At Norwich Crown Court yesterday, Karl Skoulding, 33, of Union Street, was jailed for five years. Sharon Skoulding, 41, of Trory Street, was sentenced to four years.

Both had denied robbery but were found guilty at trial.

Judge Peter Jacobs said the pair had resorted “to Plan B” after Sharon Skoulding had tried to prostitute herself for drug money on the afternoon of November 6 last year.

When that failed, she stopped the victim’s car in daylight in a side street off Ber Street, telling him unless he handed the money over she would report him for a fictional rape.

Judge Jacobs said: “You said to him: ‘Do as I say or I will say you raped me.’ Those are the sorts of words that would strike a chill into anybody.”

She said she would call her Polish partner if he didn’t pay up, at which point her pimp Karl Skoulding appeared, faking a foreign accent.

With Karl Skoulding holding an object to the victim’s side, they drove to Sainsbury’s on Queen’s Road, where the victim withdrew cash. He asked for help from another customer but, with the two still in the vehicle, “he was in an impossible situation”, said Judge Jacobs, and had been “effectively abducted in his own car”.

Lori Tucker, mitigating for Sharon Skoulding, said there were no aggravating features of violence or injury, adding her client had been making progress in prison as she tried to get clean of drink and drugs.

John Farmer, for Karl Skoulding, said the incident had been “a short-lived episode with no actual violence”.

Det Sgt Richard Dickinson, of Norwich CID, said: “This was a very traumatic experience for the victim involved and I would like to thank him for his courage in coming forward.”

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