FOUR men have been locked up for a total of 22 and a half years after they held a man hostage and threatened him for 17 hours over a £600 debt.
Robert Lodge was threatened with a gun and was told his fingers would be chopped off, Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday.
Jailing the men Judge Jeffrey Marson QC said it had been a terrifying ordeal for Mr Lodge.
“Mr Lodge was so frightened he was unable to make any attempt to escape,” he said.
“Weapons such as these have no legitimate use, their only purpose is for use in serious crime or to kill or threaten.”
The court heard that Cainan Jerome, Jamie Wadsworth and a third man first went to Mr Lodge’s sister’s home in Liversedge looking for him. While there, Ian Morris turned up brandishing a taser.
They then went to Mr Lodge’s home in Bridge Street, Batley, and saw him running down the street.
They caught him and he was forced back to their car where he had his phone taken and he was told he would learn the ‘hard way’ for not paying the money. He was then driven to a house in Huddersfield where he was threatened with a knife.
Mr Lodge was later taken to another house in Almondbury where Elijah Jerome joined the gang.
The victim was kept in darkness in a cellar and throughout the night his family was bombarded with phone calls demanding the money he owed them.
The next morning the gang arranged to meet Mr Lodge’s sister at a Liversedge chip shop to exchange him for money, but when they got there the police were waiting for them and they were arrested.
A search of Elijah Jerome’s flat resulted in a sawn off shotgun being found hidden inside his bath, and Wadsworth was also found to have buried a shotgun in his garden, with a pistol also found in his room.
A search of Morris’s car revealed 386 Diazepam tablets and 54.8g of MCAT and evidence of wholesale drug dealing was found on his phone.
Ian Morris, 40, of Bradford, was jailed for three years for possessing a taser and possessing drugs with intent to supply.
Cainan Jerome, 20, of Huddersfield, was sent to a young offenders’ institution for eight years for false imprisonment and possessing a pistol.
Eighteen-year-old Jamie Wadsworth, of Huddersfield, was sent to a young offenders’ institution for five years for false imprisonment, possessing a prohibited firearm and possessing cannabis.
Elijah Jerome, 21, of Huddersfield, was jailed for six and a half years for false imprisonment and possessing a firearm.