A criminal duo have been jailed for a combined total of more than 20 years for charges of kidnap, false imprisonment and robbery committed against a Sheffield man.
The shocking series of crimes were committed on June 6 last year, after a loan shark hijacked the victim’s car and took him to a car park in the Westfield area of the city.
Sheffield Crown Court was told how the loan shark ordered the victim to get out of the car and he was confronted with a group of five people, which included defendants Alison Ellis, 54, and Liam Seeley, 22.
The identity of the loan shark was not disclosed during Wednesday’s sentencing hearing.
As he summarised the facts of the case, Recorder David Kelly, described how one of the group claimed the victim was an ‘undercover police officer’.
The loan shark instructed Seeley to take the victim to a nearby flat, at which point Seeley took out a knife with a six inch blade and began to make ‘stabbing motions’.
“The victim took this as an indication you would use the knife against him if he didn’t do what he was told,” said Recorder Kelly, adding, “You, Ellis, said the victim looked suspicious and advised him to do what he was told or you would do him in.”
The two defendants and the loan shark took the victim to a flat, the home of another man known as ‘Cowboy’, who appeared to be intimidated by Seeley, the court heard.
“The loan man left, saying he needed to make some phone calls and you, Seeley, told him to sit in a chair, and began walking around the room, getting more and more agitated, and playing with your knife.
“You, Ellis, were said to be in a strange mood and appeared to be on drugs. You told the man to take some of the drugs you were using, to prove he wasn’t an undercover police officer. The man had never taken drugs before, but because he was frightened and anxious to prove he wasn’t an undercover officer he took them,” said Reocrder Kelly, adding that the man was given crack cocaine.
The court heard how during the course of the day, the man was forced to give Ellis and Seeley the items he had in his pockets and was coerced into taking them to his flat where he was forced to take more crack cocaine.
While at the victim’s flat, Seeley, who was described by Ellis, of Hilltop Crescent, Waterthorpe as being the ‘king of Westfield’, punched the man 10 to 20 times when he said he did not have any money in his bank account.
Seeley subsequently stole the man’s house keys and threatened to ‘chop up his dog,’ at which point the victim relented and agreed to withdraw some money when they took him to a nearby cashpoint.
He was forced to withdraw money for a second time, and agreed to give the cash to the pair if they returned his house keys.
Seeley complied, and as the pair went to a nearby phone box to make a phone call, the man took the opportunity to escape.
He reported the incident to police, after confiding in a support worker who had been helping him with his debt problems.
Seeley, now of HMP Doncaster, was found guilty of threatening a person with a knife; robbery; false imprisonment and kidnap following a trial, while Ellis was found guilty of robbery, false imprisonment and kidnap.
Seeley was also before the court for a separate offence of robbery that he admitted to which was committed two weeks after the offences concerned in the trial.
Recorder Kelly jailed Seeley for 12 years and Ellis for nine. Ellis was also made the subject of a 10-year criminal behaviour order.
“This was a long and sustained of campaign of intimidation during which your victim quite literally feared for his life