Businessman kidnapped, doused in beer and threatened with drill for £20k

A pair of attackers kidnapped a man at knifepoint, put him in a car boot and threatened him with a drill, while also dousing him with beer during the horrific ordeal to try and get him to pay £20,000.

James Stephens and Bradley Wright, both 26 and from London, were sentenced to more than 17 years behind bars at Teesside Crown Court following the sickening blackmail plot that took place in the Hambleton area of North Yorkshire.

They also threatened to harm the man’s family if he didn’t pay up within a week.

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The duo flagged down his car before beating him mercilessly, kicking and punching him, with the victim initially thinking they needed help when he saw them, TeessideLive reports.

Dr Chris Wood, prosecuting, said: "Both defendants forced the victim from his car and dragged him by his legs.

“They punched him in the face several times before he was held down to the ground by Wright who put his knee on the victim's chest and was in possession of a knife."

The victim was told he owed thousands in debt by the two, who then dragged him out of his car the court heard.

One of the men put a knife to his throat, while the other put a drill to his chest, before they stole his jewellery and locked him in the boot.

They then made more threats as they drove, including telling him that they knew what his house looked like and what his children’s routines were.

It is understood he also made a smaller bank transfer of £915.05 to Wright, but it failed.

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Dr Wood said: "Stephens drank some beer then proceeded to spit and pour the beer onto the victim's face. Wright spat at the victim also."

The events, which took place on September 8, 2019, eventually came to an end when the victim was dragged out of the car and assaulted more by the assailants before they fled the scene.

The kidnappers have since claimed that the events took place over alleged business debt.

The two men were jointly charged with kidnap, blackmail, robbery, possession of a bladed item and criminal damage, with both pleading guilty.

Both men were sentenced for kidnap, robbery, blackmail and having a bladed article.

Wright was sentenced to eight years while Stephens was given a sentence of nine years and seven months.

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