Leeds steam iron torture gang sentences cut

Three members of a gang jailed over a £20,000 blackmail plot involving the torturing of a Leeds schoolboy with a steam iron have had their sentences slashed at the Court of Appeal.

The 16-year-old boy was kidnapped in the Harehills Road area in April last year.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was then taken to a house where he was scalded, beaten, threatened and burned with an iron.

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In March, Syed Ahmed, 25, of Park Home Avenue, Harehills, was jailed for 12 years.

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His accomplices Shaheed Rahman, 25, of Harehills Avenue, Chapeltown, was also handed for 12 years and nine months and Shuel Ali Hussain, 29, of Karnal Road, also Chapeltown, was sentenced to 10 years for the brutal attack.

Ahmed and Rahman had admitted conspiracy to kidnap and blackmail, while Hussain pleaded guilty to conspiracy to blackmail and five separate offences relating to drug supply.

But top judges cut Ahmed's total sentence to nine years and nine months, Rahman's to 10-and-a-half years, and Hussain's to eight-and-a-half years at the Court of Appeal in London this week.

Giving the court's judgment, Judge Anthony Scott-Gall, sitting with Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Treacy, said the original terms had been "manifestly excessive".

He told how the trio had been part of a larger gang of young men who tried to extort cash from the victim's family as the 16-year-old was held captive.

Threats were made to kill him and mutilate him by cutting off a finger.

The victim was so scared during his ordeal that he did not speak up when police were called to the address where he was being held.

The youth himself was arrested when police eventually raided the house and found him there with Ahmed, but the extent of his injuries soon told the story.

Rahman was arrested after trying to escape through an upstairs window.

Hussain had been involved in the attempt to get the victim's brother to hand over 20,000 to cover an alleged "drugs debt" during the five-hour

ordeal.

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