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Kidnap gang face years behind bars

PUBLISHED: 11:52 10 September 2009 | UPDATED: 17:08 25 August 2010

A GANG who kidnapped two innocent men and held them hostage for a week are facing years behind bars.

A GANG who kidnapped two innocent men and held them hostage for a week are facing years behind bars.

The 25-year-old and 18-year-old, who cannot be named in a bid to protect their safety, were handcuffed and bundled into a car boot as they closed up the sports shop in Ladbroke Grove, West London.

The friends of pop star Lilly Allen were then taken to a flat in Greenhaven Drive, Thamesmead, on August 2 last year where they were pistol-whipped, forced to watch torture DVDs and told they would be shot in the head if relatives did not pay a ransom. After £90,000 was handed over police rescued the pair from a car boot, where they were bound, handcuffed and dressed in bin bags. On August 9 last year officers arrested four of the gang outside the stronghold, which led Allen to publicly thank the police when she was co-hosting the GQ Men of the Year awards. Last Friday, following a four week trial, a jury found gang members Thijseen Johns-Elliot, 28, from Forest Hill, Jason Goode, 27, from Catford and Virgil Percival, 36, from Stoke Newington, guilty of a string of charges. Organiser Joseph Hadji, 27, of Ashmore Road, Queen's Park was also on trial but admitted two counts of kidnap and one count of blackmail midway through the trial. Ashanti Kumpati, 28, of Greenhaven Drive, Thamesmead who rented the flat and his friend Paul Wigan, 29, earlier admitted their part in the plot. Judge John Price adjourned the sentencing until October 12 and said: "There are going to be very, very substantial sentences of imprisonment for a vile and cruel crime.

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