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10 October 2012, 06:00
Three men from London have been sentenced to a total of 21 years in prison after they forced a Norwich man into the boot of a car at knifepoint, assaulted and then abandoned him.
The victim was lured to the West Earlham centre on 13 November 2011 on the pretext of offering him some work on their behalf. Instead, he was threatened with a knife, and forced into the boot of a Ford Focus car.
Three men, Nathaniel Dixon, aged 27 of Senrab Street, London, Chase Atwell Clarke, aged 27 of Elton House, Candy Street, London and Roy Anthony Davidson, aged 29 of Code Street, London, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, conspiracy to supply heroin and conspiracy to supply cocaine at Norwich Crown Court today (9 October 2012). They were each sentenced to 7 years imprisonment for the offences.
During a two hour drive to Loughton, which borders Epping Forest, the man was subjected to repeated death threats and threats of serious violence. The victim was so convinced that he was about to die that he attempted to leave forensic traces in the boot of the vehicle for the police to find later.
Once they arrived at Loughton the victim was removed from the car and assaulted with a knife and threatened with what he believed to be a gun. It is believed that the gang were disturbed by a dog-walker and made off, leaving the victim alone. Eventually, he was able to make his way to a nearby house and raise the alarm.
Police believe the motive for the kidnap was to enforce a drug debt owed to the group by another man in the city, and that the victim was 'collateral damage' in the dispute.
The incident was investigated by Norwich CID, and during the course of their enquiries they uncovered a drug dealing network bringing heroin and crack cocaine into the city.
A fourth man, Jermaine Dixon, aged 29 of Harewood Drive, London pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possession of heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply and will be sentenced on Wednesday 10 October.
DI Andy Ninham of Norwich CID: "From the start, this was a challenging and complex enquiry, and I'm very satisfied with the outcome. This sends a strong message that Norfolk Constabulary will investigate offences of this nature extremely thoroughly to protect our communities and bring would-be offenders to justice.
"I have no doubt that had the gang not been disturbed, then some serious harm would have come to him. I'm very grateful to the victim for having the courage to come forward as I know this has caused him a great deal of personal stress and I hope he can start to move on with his life now the offenders have been imprisoned.
"This was an isolated and extremely rare incident in terms of the violence used and our on-going work to tackle drug dealing taking across the county. It remains a priority for the force and we regularly carry out many successful operations. Officers constantly analyse local intelligence to identify and target offenders and disrupt drug activity."