London

Former London Pc jailed for bank manager kidnap plot

Mesut Karakas
Image caption Mesut Karakas was sacked from the Met in February

A Metropolitan (Met) Police officer who led a plot to kidnap a bank manager for money has been jailed.

Mesut Karakas, 25, of east London, was sentenced to 13 years after earlier admitting to conspiring to kidnap the manager of a London Lloyds TSB branch.

Ijah Rowe, 24, Jamie Lowe, 25, and Gokhan Kuru, 24, admitted the same charge while Richmond Darko, 25, was convicted after a trial.

The gang was arrested in October 2009 before the plan was carried out.

Karakas, of Wragby Road, Leytonstone, was sacked from the Met in February and admitted all the charges against him.

'Callous' behaviour

He was sentenced to 10 years for conspiracy to kidnap, two years for misconduct in a public office and one year for assault - to run consecutively.

Sentencing at Blackfriars Crown Court, Judge Aidan Marron told him: "You were the principal in this conspiracy, about that no-one can have any doubt."

Darko, of Prince Phillip Avenue, Grays, Essex, admitted assault but was found guilty of conspiracy to kidnap on 6 October and sentenced to 11-and-a-half years in prison.

Rowe, of Chobham Road, Leyton, and Lowe, of Evering Road, Clapton, both east London, also admitted assault and were jailed for eight years and 11 years respectively.

Kuru, of Birnam Road, Finsbury Park, north London, was jailed for seven years.

Judge Marron said: "Your collective activity was planned professionally and systematically.

"No-one listening to the probe material will forget the cold, callous way that you behaved."

The court heard the men planned to set up a mock roadwork scene near the bank manager's home in order to carry out the kidnap.

'Motive was money'

Police searches uncovered false number plates, industrial gaffer tape, dust masks, a balaclava, plastic handcuffs, industrial ear protectors and the van officers believed would have been used in the plot.

Rosa Dean, prosecuting, said the mens' motive was money.

The assault related to an incident in Chapel Market, north London, on 25 July last year when Darko, Karakas, Lowe and Rowe attacked a man with a baseball bat.

Karakas then accessed the police incident report, printed it off four times and showed it to Lowe.

Lowe pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice after an envelope containing £10,000 was posted through the letterbox of the assault victim asking him to drop the case against the four men.

The court heard that the gang, joined by Kuru, started to plot the kidnap after the assault.

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