Four people sentenced following the kidnap and torture of a Merseyside man

|News, Violent crime

Four people have been sentenced following the kidnap and torture of a man in Merseyside.

On 15 April 2019 at Liverpool Crown Court David Lee Kelly, 28, Liam Anthony Field, 23, John George Hayter, 41, and a 17-year-old youth who cannot be named because of his age, were sentenced after pleading guilty to false imprisonment.

Kelly, Field and Hayter also pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent. Kelly and Field also pleaded guilty to kidnap.

David Kelly and Liam Field were part of a gang of five men who posed as police officers and 'arrested' the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at his home around 11.40pm on 26 July 2018. They searched the house and stole his wife’s mobile phone and £300 in cash.

They persuaded him to come in their 'police car' to be questioned at a nearby police station.

There then began an 18 hour ordeal of torture, first of all in nearby woodland and then later at the home of John Hayter, who had agreed to let it be used as a safe house.

The victim was bound, gagged and handcuffed throughout  and was beaten and tortured with a hot iron and boiling water.

The gang tried to contact the victim’s family via the stolen phone to demand hostage money for his return but they couldn’t work out the PIN code for it.

They therefore bought another mobile phone and some members of the gang went to the victim’s home on a motor bike and shouted the number across to his family, demanding they make contact and pay £200,000 for the return of the father of three.

The victim was rescued by police officers at 6pm on 27 July who found him at Hayter’s home, finally bringing to an end his horrific ordeal.

Officers at the scene filmed his extensive injuries with body worn cameras and this was used as evidence in the case.

Kelly was jailed for a total of 14 years and 4 months, Field for 12 years and 9 months and Hayter for 8 years and 1 month. The youth was sentenced to 4 years' detention in a Young Offenders' Institution.

An indefinite order was also imposed on all of the defendants, maning that they cannot contact the victim or his family in any way.

Rachael Barber for the CPS said: “This ruthless gang inflicted awful injuries on this man and put his family through a dreadful ordeal, demanding money and calling them so that they could hear his cries of pain in the background.

“It was a protracted ordeal that had been carefully planned and carried out with a degree of sophistication, such as disguising themselves as police officers.

“But behind it all was mindless violence. Their victim has had to move home with his family, piece together his life, deal with the emotional and physical trauma and try to start again.

“The Crown Prosecution Service, working with Merseyside Police, built a strong case against these vicious men and they pleaded guilty to their crimes. They are now beginning substantial jail terms.”

Notes to editors

  • Rachael Barber is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Complex Casework Unit of Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service

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