Bungling armed kidnappers jailed for ‘stupid’ attempt

Darren Anscombe

Darren Anscombe

Police at the Arts Lodge at Victoria Park yesterday
 Picture: JCD Photographic

Police accused of taking ‘sledgehammer to nut’ as five arrested during arts lodge repossession

  • Terrifying ordeal as trio grabbed victim in his own home
  • They all knew him, didn’t wear masks and one apologised on Facebook
  • They realised they targeted the wrong man after bungled kidnap attempt
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THREE men have been jailed for a terrifying but ‘stupid’ attempted kidnap after grabbing the wrong man.

All three knew their victim, they did not wear masks, one lived in the same street – and apologised on Facebook after the horrific armed kidnap bid.

Daniel Thomas

Daniel Thomas

Graham Page was at home in Wheatlands Avenue, Hayling Island, when Darren Anscombe, 36, Leo Smith, 32, and Daniel Thomas, 27, arrived armed with knives.

They punched him, pinned him against the wall and grabbed and pulled his t-shirt, trying to force him from his home, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.

But Mr Page clung on to the door frame and refused to go with them.

In his statement, Mr Page referred to Smith as Punchy and said: ‘I was pulling back, resisting them and I said to Punchy “I know you” and he replied “I know you do”.’

Go and serve your sentences, learn the lesson and in god’s sake don’t get involved in anything as stupid again.’

Recorder William Mousley QC

Robert Griffiths prosecuting, said: ‘They were all saying “you’re coming with us”.’

He added: ‘He was using the door frame to stop him being pulled out.

‘They started taking about a girl called Hannah and saying Mr Page had stolen drugs from them and they were £10,000 down.

‘He said: “I don’t know what you’re talking about”.

Leo Smith

Leo Smith

‘It seems they got completely the wrong person.’

Smith then punched terrified Mr Page in the face again before the trio tried to convince him to leave.

Unsuccessful, they fled in a car and shouted: ‘we’ll be back’.

Realising they got the wrong person, Anscombe later sent Mr Page a message on Facebook.

He said: ‘I’m so sorry, please let me apologise and sort out some sort of financial compensation.’

In an earlier message to Mr Page on the day of the incident, December 5, he had said: ‘Just give us our stuff back, it will be all over and forgotten about.’

The court heard Anscombe told police he and Smith had lost property in a burglary and had been told it was Mr Page who was responsible.

Jailing the trio, Recorder William Mousley QC said: ‘Go and serve your sentences, learn the lesson and for God’s sake don’t get involved in anything as stupid again.’

He added: ‘This would have been an extraordinarily frightening incident for Mr Page and his partner, occurring as it did at their own home.

‘It was, I’m sure, undoubtedly a cowardly incident as far as the three of you were involved.

‘No doubt the fact you went mob-handed was to give you the false courage to go through with this extremely unpleasant incident.’

Smith, of Sea Grove Avenue, Hayling Island, and Anscombe, of Wheatlands Avenue, Hayling Island, were both jailed for 30 months.

Thomas, of Broadmere Avenue, Havant, who admitted the charge sooner, was jailed for two years.

All three men pleaded guilty to attempted kidnap.

Carpenter Anscombe, who committed the offence just days after his son was born, was remorseful, Rebecca Fairbairn said.

Edward Hollingsworth, for Thomas, said it was surprising his client was involved and said he accepted how serious it was.

Tom Hoarder, for Smith, said it was a short-lived incident.

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