Wales

Men jailed for fake police officer kidnapping

Nathan Parry Image copyright Dyfed-Powys Police
Image caption Nathan Parry was said to have been the "lead member" of the gang

Three men have been jailed for posing as police in a car with blue flashing lights and kidnapping a businessman.

Car valet Nathan Parry, 37, of Ellesmere Port, was described as the "brains" behind the offence and jailed for 12 years at Caernarfon Crown Court.

Andrew Ballantyne, 36, and David Staff, 34, both from Chester, were "willing lieutenants" and each locked up for seven years.

The 33-year-old victim was handcuffed in a stolen Audi in a four-hour ordeal.

Image copyright Dyfed-Powys Police
Image caption Andrew Ballantyne and David Staff were both jailed

Carl Nicholas, 33, from Wrexham, was jailed for 18 months after admitting witness intimidation.

Natalie Goode, 33, from Chester, was cleared of kidnapping and false imprisonment but convicted of blackmail. She was accused of collecting a ransom of at least £11,000, possibly almost £20,000, from the man's mother. She was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.

'Real fear'

They tracked the man, who lives in mid Wales, for months before the incident on 2 September last year, the court was told.

Parry was found guilty of kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail while Ballantyne and Staff both admitted the offences.

Prosecutor John Philpotts told the jury they might think the events "sound rather like the plot of a television police drama" but the case involved "real people and real fear."