Six men jailed for 'vile' kidnap

12 October 2009 03:47
Six members of a gang that kidnapped two men - one of them a friend of the singer Lily Allen - have been jailed for up to 12 years each.The hostages, aged 18 and 25, were pistol-whipped, made to watch torture DVDs and told they would be shot if relatives did not pay a £90,000 ransom. [LNB]Three gang members admitted their roles and three others were found guilty at London's Southwark Crown Court. [LNB]Lily Allen publicly thanked Met police shortly after the pair were freed. [LNB]Joseph Hadji, 27, of Queen's Park, was jailed for 10 years after admitting kidnap and blackmail charges. [LNB]Ashanti Kumpati, 29, of Thamesmead, and Paul Wigan, 29, of Catford, pleaded guilty to blackmail and false imprisonment and were each jailed for nine years. [LNB]Three others who denied involvement but were found guilty after a four-week trial, were also jailed. [LNB][LNB]Lily Allen praised the Met after the rescueThijseen Johns-Elliot, 28, of Sydenham, was jailed for 12 years for blackmail and false imprisonment while Jason Goode, 27, of Hither Green received six years in jail for false imprisonment. [LNB]Vergil Percival, 36, of Stoke Newington, was jailed indefinitely for two counts of kidnap and one of blackmail. [LNB]Judge John Price said it was a "vile and cruel" crime. [LNB]The gang descended on the two men as they closed up a sports shop in west London in August last year, bundled their captives into a car boot and held them with little food and no water for a week. [LNB]Armed police eventually rescued the men. Some members of the gang had to be subdued with tasers. [LNB]Lily Allen thanked the Metropolitan Police on stage at the GQ Men of the Year show, saying: "My friend was kidnapped a few weeks ago and was kept in a car boot for six days without any food or anything. [LNB]"It was really scary. Thank you to the Met for getting my friend back, we were all terrified. From what I hear, the police did a fantastic job." [LNB]Police still want to trace five other men who they suspect were involved in the plot.

Source: BBC_Sport