Kid­nap vic­tim tor­tured

Judge jails gang for in­flict­ing ‘shock­ing and sadis­tic’ or­deal

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - by Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­

SIX men have been jailed for a three-day ‘sadis­tic’ kid­nap and tor­ture in Cow­ley.

Dar­ren ‘ Biggs’ Vas­sell, 35, of St Luke Close, Cow­ley, and fel­low gang mem­bers snatched vic­tim Mo­hammed Mirza from Kimms Kutts bar­ber sa­lon in Houn­slow, on June 18 last year, the Old Bai­ley heard.

Two months ear­lier, Vas­sell had planted a large pack­age of “skunk” at Mr Mirza’s for­mer work­place, Shine Sa­lon in Houn­slow, to cre­ate an ex­cuse to de­mand money, it was al­leged.

The vic­tim was driven around the area for sev­eral hours as the gang made de­mands and threats to his life, un­less he handed over £2,500.

Mr Mirza was even­tu­ally taken to St Luke Close in Cow­ley, where his hands were bound to­gether with elec­tri­cal wires.

It was here that Vas­sell and his brother Marvin, 40, and co-kid­nap­pers Derek John­ston, 40, and Aaron El­lis, 22, be­gan a sadis­tic and sus­tained as­sault.

Mr Mirza was re­peat­edly hit around the head and body with an iron bar and a com­puter mon­i­tor was thrown at his head.

El­lis heated a metal fork on a gas hob and re­peat­edly burned his legs with it.

The brothers took turns stab­bing and hack­ing Mr Mirza with kitchen knives, flay­ing skin from his arms.

On June 20 last year, act­ing on in­tel­li­gence gath­ered by the Hu­man Traf­fick­ing and Kid­nap Unit, armed of­fi­cers from the Met’s Spe­cial­ist Firearms Com­mand en­tered the house and res­cued Mr Mirza.

Neigh­bours re­ported hear­ing a gun­shot, when an of­fi­cer un­in­ten­tion­ally fired a gun.

No one was in­jured as a re­sult of this but as a mat­ter of rou­tine the Di­rec­torate of Pro­fes­sional Stan­dards were in­formed.

Lon­don Am­bu­lance Ser­vice took Mr Mirza to Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal for treat­ment to his in­juries, be­fore he was dis­charged sev­eral days later. He is said to be still re­cov­er­ing from his or­deal.

The court heard how Dar­ren Vas­sell told the emer­gency ser­vices: “To be hon­est, I’m not a bad guy. The geezer owed me money, he didn’t pay. It seemed worse than it is.”

Sen­tenc­ing the gang to 71 and a half years com­bined, Judge John Be­van QC said: “Bul­lies tend to be cow­ards and this ex­hi­bi­tion of cru­elty is a truly shock­ing ex­am­ple of sadis­tic be­hav­iour amount­ing to tor­ture.”

Dar­ren Vas­sell ad­mit­ted kid­nap and black­mail, was jailed for 18 years for two counts of false im­pris­on­ment and caus­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm. His brother, Marvin Vas­sell, also of St Luke Close, Cow­ley, ad­mit­ted black­mail, false im­pris­on­ment and caus­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm and was jailed for 13 years and six months.

Derek John­ston, 40, St Christo­pher Road, Cow­ley, was jailed for 21 years for kid­nap, black­mail, two counts of false im­pris­on­ment and caus­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm.

Aaron El­lis, 22, of Chest­nut Av­enue, West Dray­ton, will spend nine years be­hind bars for griev­ous bod­ily harm.

The other de­fen­dants were Ja­mal McLaugh­lin, 34, of Gravesend Road, Shep­herd’s Bush, and Carl­ton Rod­ney, 50, of Charles Road, Eal­ing, who were jailed for six years and four years re­spec­tively.

De­tec­tive Sergeant Tim Mus­toe, from the Met’s Or­gan­ised Crime Com­mand, said af­ter the trial: “I hope to­day’s sen­tences bring the vic­tim some so­lace and re­as­sure the pub­lic that the Met will re­lent­lessly pur­sue those who com­mit crime.”

n JAILED: Top row, Dar­ren and Marvin Vas­sell and Aaron El­lis. Bot­tom, Derek John­ston, Ja­mal McLaugh­lin and Carl­ton Rod­ney

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