Gang kidnapped man in street then tortured him at house in Leeds as demands were made for ransom money

A man was abducted in public and tortured at a house in Leeds by a gang who demanded a ransom for his release.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 5:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 6:18 pm

A court heard the victim was punched repeatedly and threatened with being raped during the incident at the property in Chapeltown.

Reece Brooks, 32, was jailed for six years, nine months after pleading guilty to kidnapping.

Leeds Crown Court heard the offence took place on September 7 last year.

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Reece Brooks was jailed for six years, nine months, after pleading guilty to kidnapping in Leeds

Members of Brooks' gang targeted the victim in the mistaken belief that he was from a wealthy family.

Jurors at a trial heard how the man was followed before the "carefully organised" abduction was carried out.

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A member of the gang grabbed him in a choke hold as he was walking along a street with his girlfriend in Harehills.

He was then dragged into the back of a car and held down as he was driven to the property in Chapeltown.

The car door was slammed on his foot, breaking two toes.

He was then taken into the house "like a bag of rubbish" by three people.

The victim was repeatedly attacked over the course of more than two hours.

Threats were also made to sexually assault him.

Despite the violence used against him he refused to phone members of his family to ask for ransom money.

Some of his personal items were taken from him during the incident.

The court heard the officers' body-worn camera footage was disturbing to view.

Brooks was arrested after the incident and pleaded guilty to kidnapping.

Another man denied the offence and was found not guilty after a trial.

Robin Freize, mitigating, said Brooks had not been the organiser of the kidnapping but agreed to become involved after he was also threatened with violence.

Mr Freize said Brooks accepted that he had been involved in kidnapping the victim from the street.

He said his client did not go into the house or use any violence.

The barrister added: "He understands that there will be limited sympathy for him because he brought it on himself."

Sentencing, Judge Simon Batiste said: "I accept that once inside the house you no longer played an active role.

"But you must have known that this was a kidnapping for ransom and you must have known, given the violence already perpetrated, that he was going to be significantly ill-treated.

"I have heard today the victim personal statement and the trauma that this event has had.

"It may be that that is something that is going to stay with him for many years, maybe even for the rest of his life."