Kidnap gang member jailed
Two men who were kidnapped and beaten by a gang were innocent victims, a court heard.
The 20-year-olds were subjected to a sustained and violent ordeal after being taken from a street in Plaistow.
They were stopped by a gang of men in Boundary Road, threatened, blindfolded and forced into a waiting vehicle. They were then driven to an address in north London.
There, over two days, one of the men was subjected to a prolonged assault while demands were made of his family.
Weapons used on both men included a knuckle-duster and iron, the Old Bailey heard.
Gang members went out in search of his brother.
When they found him they threatened to shoot him if he tried to escape. They told him they were holding his sibling. But he was able to drive away and alerted a passing police car.
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The suspects’ vehicle sped off before crashing into a bus. All the occupants fled and evaded police.
The Met Police’s kidnap and specialist investigations unit launched a covert operation to recover the hostages. But both men were switched to new addresses.
One man was moved to the Leyton area where he was assaulted before being released. His friend was later dropped off at Redbridge Tube station.
In all, nine men were arrested and over two trials, the second ending on March 4, five men were convicted of conspiracy to kidnap, falsely imprison and blackmail, and jailed for a total of 44 years.
A Stratford man, Korey Butler, 21, of Gordon Road, was among them. He was sentenced to nine years.
A sixth man, Najam Shah, 35, of Drapers Road, Stratford, was found guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice and received a two-and-a-half year jail term.
Det Insp Andy Noyes, of the Met’s kidnap unit, said: “These two young men endured a terrifying ordeal.
“They were kidnapped and held against their will by an organised criminal network.”
He added that he hoped the sentences will be a deterrent to others.