Ian Whitehurst successfully prosecutes torture gang

May 22, 2019

Acting as leading junior and instructed by Mersey Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, Ian Whitehurst from Exchange Chambers has successfully prosecuted a gang who posed as police officers to kidnap a man before proceeding to torture him for 18 hours as part of a £200,000 ransom plot.

The man was beaten with metal batons, stabbed, attacked with a machete, burnt with an iron and had boiling water poured over him during the terrifying ordeal.

At Liverpool Crown Court, David Kelly, Liam Field, John Hayter and a 17-year-old youth were sentenced to a total of 38 years in prison.

On July 26 last year, five men posing as police officers in full uniform put their victim under fake arrest.

The gang attended the home of the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and after an alleged ‘search for evidence’ put him in their stolen Audi A3.

The victim was tortured with an array of weapons, at first in a park in Whiston and then in a house in Huyton, until he was finally rescued by genuine police.

Kelly, 28, of Bootle, was sentenced to 13 years and six months for kidnap, false imprisonment and GBH with intent.

He was also sentenced to 10 months for aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving which he will serve consecutively to his 13 years and six month sentence.

Field, of Kirkby, was sentenced to 12 years and nine months for kidnap, false imprisonment and GBH with intent.

Hayter, of Huyton, was sentenced to eight years and one month for false imprisonment and GBH with intent.

The 17-year-old defendant was sentenced to four years for false imprisonment.

He was also sentenced to 12 months to run consecutively for a separate offence of possession with intent to supply heroin and crack cocaine.

Crown Advocate Peter Hussey prosecuted the case for Mersey Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service. Ian is a member of the criminal department at Exchange Chambers.

The case received national press coverage.