Gang seized man in street at gunpoint and cut off his finger to back up ransom demands, court hears
A ruthless gang, which included a man from the Black Country, seized a victim from the street at gunpoint and cut off one of his fingers to back up their ransom demands to his family, a court heard.
The gang was caught after the police raided the Coventry address where 25-year-old Damion Lowe was held, and at Warwick Crown Court six men admitted their involvement.
But four other men – Ismaeel Akbar, aged 32, of Kingsbury Road, Tipton; Yusuf Akbar, 33, of Wynn Street, Edgbaston, Birmingham: Ralph McLeod, 37, of Belmont Road, Coventry; and Lewis Poyser, 24, of Dovedale Avenue, Longford, Coventry, denied charges of false imprisonment, blackmail and grievous bodily harm with intent.
Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC said: "This young man was taken from the street in broad daylight at gunpoint by men wearing balaclavas and bundled into a van and taken to a lock-up garage where he was held for 36 hours and was bound and gagged and beaten with a metal bar and kicked.
"To enforce the gang's demand for money, when they met resistance from the hostage's family over their demand for amounts of up to £60,000, they cut off his finger.
"The finger they cut off was left near the place where he was kidnapped as a warning sign to his family that they meant business and on day two they went to Birmingham to collect the money."
After the money had been collected, the victim was 'unceremoniously dumped in a ditch.'
Mr Hankin said the victim's nightmare began on Monday, September 30, when a van pulled up and he was taken at gunpoint.
Mr Hankin said that after making a ransom demand the gang 'cut off Damion's little finger to show that they meant business'.
The finger was then put in a bag and the next day Mr Lowe was told he would be cut up because the family were not paying up.
Further calls were made to the family on mobile phones which were traced to Akbar at his Tipton home and he was put under surveillance which led the police to Dovedale Avenue.
The jury heard that Ricardo Grant, 24, of Watcombe Road, Henley Green, Coventry, who was named as the gunman, pleaded guilty to kidnapping, having a firearm with intent, false imprisonment, blackmail and grievous bodily harm with intent.
Lemar Grant, 26, of Broad Park Road, Henley Green; Kofi Poyser, 23, of Dovedale Avenue; Kadeem Poyser, 21, of Browning Court, Wyken, Coventry; and Jermaine Campbell, 24, of Broad Park Road, have all admitted the same charges, while Anthony McLeod has admitted the blackmail, false imprisonment and grievous bodily harm offences. The trial continues.
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