Christmas Day kidnappers jailed for 25 years
13 September 2012
FOUR kidnappers who carjacked a teenager at knifepoint and forced him to act as their getaway driver after a vicious street attack have been jailed for a total of 25 years.
The 18-year-old driver was parked near Walsall bus depot following a Christmas Eve party with friends when Luke Jenkins, David Hughes, Matthew Sutton and Lee Ratcliffe bundled his pals out of the vehicle.
He was then threatened with a machete and ordered to drive them to an address in Wolverhampton where they’d arranged a drugs exchange.
As he pulled into Hordern Road in Whitmore Reans, though, he witnessed 22-year-old Jenkins (pictured left) jump out and slash a man with the knife and leave him with serious hand and head injuries.
The teenager was again forced to drive the quartet back to Walsall – but unbeknown to them traffic patrol cars were already on their tail after his friends relayed detailed descriptions of the car and attackers via 999.
Police stopped the car in Wolverhampton Road West, Willenhall, just before 2am on Christmas Day – around an hour after the carjacking – and arrested all four men at the scene.
And at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday (Sept 7) Jenkins, from Sandwell Street in Caldmore, admitted kidnap and wounding and was jailed for 10 years, whilst 20-year-old Sutton, from Bath Street in Caldmore, and Hughes (26) of no fixed address were both handed five-and-a-half year terms.
Ratcliffe, 27 and also from Sandwell Street, Caldmore – who remained in the car during the Wolverhampton attack – also admitted kidnap and was handed a four-year prison sentence.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Junior Stevens, said: “The young driver was put through a terrifying, hour-long ordeal – but he remained calm, didn’t panic and sat tight until police tracked down the car and freed him.
“His friends made a swift 999 call after the carjacking which allowed us to get patrol cars in the area on the lookout for the vehicle.
“And when a car matching its description was also phoned through following the wounding we were able to narrow down our search and quickly pick-up the offenders.
“Jenkins was the main aggressor and identified as the one who used the machete against his victim – he’s rightly been jailed for a very long time.”