A group of violent kidnappers dressed as police officers gouged a dad’s eye in a brutal 18-hour ordeal.
After the fake cops abducted the man from his home he was beaten with metal batons, attacked with a machete, stabbed, scalded with an iron and burnt by boiling water.
As the torture continued the man’s terrified family were forced to listen to his screams as the kidnappers demanded a £200,000 ransom, The Liverpool Echo reports.
The brutal episode began at around 11.30pm on 26 July last year when David Kelly, Liam Field, and three other men, arrived at the home of their victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, dressed as police officers.
Prosecutor Peter Hussey told Liverpool Crown Court how the gang carried out a search of the home before ‘arresting’ the man.
His wife described the fake officers as “polite and confident”.
Prosecutor Hussey added: “The victim’s wife had no suspicion that they were not real police officers.
After searching the house they asked the victim’s wife for her mobile phone and unbeknown to the family they had also stolen £300.
“They then put the victim into a stolen Audi A3 and while in the car one of the gang members even radioed as if to call ahead to the station, a message which was answered by a gang member who was hidden in the boot of the car.
“The victim was then told ‘we are not police officers, it’s going to be a long night’ before he was struck with a metal pole to the face.”
At this point the gang was joined by two other men on motorbikes, including a 17-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons.
After their plan to call in the ransom demands over the victim’s phone failed because it was locked, they bought a top-up mobile.
They then returned to their victim’s family home at around 4am, screamed the number of the phone out and demanded money from the victim’s wife.
A recording of the exchange played out in court caught the woman tearfully explaining that she did not have the money.
The victim was later transported in the boot of the car to the house of John Hayter who claimed he “made the wrong decision” in letting them in.
Once inside the gang assaulted and tortured the dad until past 6pm – 18 hours after he was kidnapped.
Prosecutor Hussey added: “The victim suffered a series of injuries including burns to his shoulder and elbow after boiling water was poured on him, his left eye had been gouged by a piece of wooden pole, he had been cut with knives, had swelling to his face, a fractured arm and lacerations to his kneecaps.”
At some point during the brutal attack Hayter and the teenager drove to McDonald’s to buy £60 of takeaway for the group.
They also found time to clean the Audi with fairy liquid.
At around 6pm police stormed the property and arrested the gang members, some of whom were found hiding in a cupboard under the stairs.
Prosecutor Hussey added: “This was a sustained and repeated attack which lasted 18 hours in total.
“It was pre-meditated and sophisticated.
“It involved police uniforms, police equipment and an array of weapons which had the intention to cause much more serious harm.
They deliberately caused harm and told the victim’s family he wouldn’t be safely returned unless a ransom was paid.”
Defending dad of three David Kelly, Julian Nutter, told the court how his client “deeply regrets his conduct.
“He is deeply sorry for what he has done to the victim and his family and his own family who are now without a breadwinner for the foreseeable future.”
The defence lawyer for Field Paul Becker said his client had expressed remorse.
Sentencing the gang Judge Gary Woodall said: “This must have been utterly terrifying for the victim and his family.
“Although there were no videos recovered the victim recalled how during the attacks a mobile phone was held up, which I believe was to film the victim or on a video call to another phone.
“This all adds to the humiliation and degradation of the victim.
“He had boiling water poured over him with a kettle he was stabbed in his legs with knives, struck with a broom until the handle broke.
“Then the handle, which had an exposed screw, was used to gouge his eye.
“All these weapons were recovered by police.
“The victim and his family have had to leave their home and the area where they lived.
“Their children have not been able to return to their schools.
“Meticulous planning went into this offending.”
Kelly, 28, of Gonville Road, Bootle was sentenced to 13 years and six months for kidnap, false imprisonment and GBH with intent
He was also sentenced to 10 months for a separate offence of aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving which he will serve consecutively to his 13 years and six month sentence.
Field, of Kevins Drive, in Kirkby, was sentenced to 12 years and 9 months for kidnap, false imprisonment and GBH with intent and Hayter of Woodhurst Close, Huyton was sentenced to 8 years and 1 month for false imprisonment and GBH with intent.
The 17-year-old defendant was sentenced to 4 years for false imprisonment.
He was also sentenced to 12 months to run consecutively for a separate offence of possession with intent to supply heroin and crack cocaine.