A gang of thugs who kidnapped a man, beat him, stabbed him in the leg, and forcibly imprisoned him as they phoned his family to demand £35,000 ransom were sentenced on May 25 to just 8-10 years in prison.
On first glance at the Metropolitan Police site one might think these men were sent to prison for 58 years for the heinous crime, but then you see it is 58 years total for all six men put together.
The Thugs: Osman Hassan, 45, Noel McCaulsky, 28, Ugyur Mustafa, 47, John Kidney, 34, Dean Phillips, 38, and Nicholas Francis-Hepburn, 35.
How it happened: On September 21 last year, a 25-year-old man drove to a Food and Wine store in Southend-on-Sea where he was “confronted by a man walking in the road and blocking his vehicle.” The 25-year-old man was concerned. He thought the man in the road was drunk, so got out of his car to help him.
His reward? A gang of thugs coming out to beat him, taser him, and threaten him with a knife. The men gagged and handcuffed him, put him into the back of a white van, and stripped him to his underwear.
“The van was driven to a secluded location, where he was transferred into another van and taken to an address on Arcus Road in Bromley. During the time he was held he was again beaten and stabbed in the thigh,” Metropolitan Police reported. “The men contacted a family member and demanded £35,000 as a ransom for his release. As the family contacted each other to raise the money, the police were also informed. The kidnappers made numerous calls claiming they were keeping the victim outside in the cold.”
Later the men changed their ransom to £20,000 and 500g of cocaine, but then changed it again to £30,000 and 1kg of cocaine.
The police found the victim because of an enquiry into who owned a white Mercedes at Hassan’s home. Armed officers arrested Hassan, McCaulsky and Mustafa, and found the victim handcuffed on a chair, gagged, and with his legs cable-tied together. The victim had been stabbed in the leg, received head injuries and had a broken arm.
The police arrested the other men involved in the kidnapping after further investigation.
“This was a brutal attack in a quiet residential street. Thankfully, incidents like this are rare but we understand how alarming this was to the family members at the time,” Detective Constable Andrew Reason of the Met’s Modern Slavery & Kidnap Unit said: “I would like to praise the bravery of the local good Samaritan who contacted police as soon as he saw the kidnapping happen in Southend-on-Sea.”
The six men were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, and were given 8-10 years each.