Men who kidnapped Yorkshire security officer on his way to work on country lane in Bedale are jailed

Two men who drove from London to kidnap a security guard on his way to work on a North Yorkshire lane have been jailed.

James Stephens and Bradley Wright, both 26, travelled 200 miles to kidnap the man over an alleged £16,000 debt.

They blocked his car on a country lane near the depot in Gatenby near Bedale where he worked in September 2019 and threatened him with a knife and an electric drill to his chest, saying that they knew where his four children went to school and where the family lived.

The pair had driven up a week earlier to reconnoitre the area and were caught on CCTV cameras at Imtiaz Khan's workplace and on police vehicle recognition equipment.

James Stephens

Stephens snatched the ignition keys through his open window and they dragged him out by the legs punching him several times, and Wright pinned him to the ground holding a knife .

He was asked if he knew "Mark", Stephens' father, and when he confirmed his name he was told that he owed £16,000 and that Mark had transferred the debt to them, said prosecutor Dr Christopher Wood.

Mr Khan was told that he had to pay the £16,000 by Sunday, and they stole £600, a gold chain and a watch with the knife pointed at his neck and Wright spat at him as he was on the ground.

They moved his car and parked it in a field behind a hedge, and they forced him into the boot of their car and drove off, returning to the spot 15 minutes later. While in the boot he was made to transfer £915 from his account, the full balance, to Wright's bank account.

Bradley Wright

Stephens removed his shirt and wiped down Khan's car to remove fingerprints and they left, taking his dashcam.

Read More

Read More
Love Brownies: Yorkshire cafe and bakery business goes into liquidation after su...

Dr Wood said that they were traced through Wright's bank account, Stephens' fingerprint was found on the car and Wright's DNA was found on Mr Khan's clothing.

They were arrested and interviewed but made no comment, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Clare Dowse, defending Stephens, said in mitigation that he had committed no offences since his arrest and that he played a large part in the lives of his two children, who lived with his former partner.

Benjamin Newton, defending Wright, said that he had been recruited by Stephens and he was not aware in advance of the detailed attack on Mr Khan.

The judge said that it was a joint enterprise and that sinister threats were made to Mr Khan.

Judge Christopher Smith said that there was clear remorse from both of them.

Stephens of Sandlewood Drive, Ruislip, was jailed for nine years and seven months, and Wright of Melville Close, Ickenham, Hillingdon, was jailed for eight years after they both pleaded guilty to kidnapping, robbery, blackmail and having an article with a blade or point.