Four ‘despicable’ Northampton men jailed for being part of gang that dressed as police officers, kidnapped a man and tortured him with a taser
A gang, made up of four Northampton men and a man from Manchester, have been jailed for a total of 50 years and 11 months.
Nicky Barnes, Daniel Lowe, Ben Ukaegbu, John Bishop, who are all from Northampton and Michael Etuhu from Manchester have been sentenced for their part in an ‘inhumane’ kidnapping that took place on Thursday April 11, 2019.
The gang kidnapped and held a victim in a building for 13 hours where they tortured him with a Taser and a blowtorch and contacted several members of his family demanding a ransom.
Prior to the date of the kidnapping, the gang placed a tracking device on the victim’s car allowing them to find his location.
The victim, who is believed to be in his 30s, was then approached by Lowe, Bishop and Ukaegbu who were falsely dressed as police officers.
They placed him in the back of a car that had false number plates and drove him to a back street in the Gorton area of Manchester where they dragged him out from the car, put a hood over his head and put him in the back of a van.
The van was then driven to a building where the five members of the gang forcibly held the victim for 13 hours.
During this time, the men tortured him using a blowtorch and a Taser in an attempt to scare him into cooperating with their demands.
Using a bandit phone, the gang members contacted various members of the victim’s family and demanded a ransom that they asked to be delivered to an address in Birmingham.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were informed by the family and were able to track down the location.
Armed police were sent to the building where they broke in and arrested Bishop and Ukaegbu who were acting as guards.
The victim was found handcuffed to a chair.
Etuhu, Barnes and Lowe were not present at the time, but were pursued by officers and arrested in May 2019.
The prison sentences the criminals received
On January 10, 2020 all five members of the gang were sentenced at Manchester Crown Court.
These are the sentences they received:
Nicky Barnes, 27, of Greenwood Road, Northampton was jailed for 12 years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to blackmail.
Daniel Lowe, 27, of Byfield Road, Northampton was jailed for 10 years and six months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to blackmail.
Ben Ukaegbu, 39, of Windy Ridge, Northampton was jailed for 11 years three months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to blackmail.
John Bishop, 32, of Stanley Road, Northampton was jailed for seven years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to blackmail.
Michael Etuhu, 36, of Leftbank, Manchester was jailed for 10 years two months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to blackmail.
Gareth Davies, Detective Inspector for Greater Manchester Police’s major incident team, said: “This was a terrifying attack on a man who was held against his will and senselessly tortured.
“This crime was carefully thought out and planned by this despicable group of offenders and their behaviour was ruthless and inhumane.
“The severity of these offences should not be underestimated and I would like to thank our GMP officers who have been working tirelessly as part of Operation Cervine to put these offenders behind bars where they can take the time they need to reflect on their actions.
“This sentence is very much deserved and I hope it will act as a warning that this type of criminal behaviour will absolutely not be tolerated on our streets.”