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Victim feared execution

PUBLISHED: 16:46 12 August 2009 | UPDATED: 17:02 25 August 2010

A SPORTS SHOP assistant feared he was being prepared for execution after he was handcuffed and bundled into a car boot dressed in just a bin bag, a court heard.

A SPORTS SHOP assistant feared he was being prepared for execution after he was handcuffed and bundled into a car boot dressed in just a bin bag, a court heard.

The 25-year-old hostage and his 18-year-old colleague, whom a court order prevents naming, were captured by an armed gang as they closed up for the day, Southwark Crown Court heard on Monday.

During a week-long ordeal the young men were pistol-whipped, forced to watch torture DVDs, and told they would be shot in the head if relatives did not pay a ransom.

For the final days of their ordeal they were moved to a council flat in Greenhaven Drive, Thamesmead, rented by gang member Ashanti Kumpati, 28. He admits two counts of false imprisonment and one of blackmail.

After £90,000 was handed over police rescued the terrified pair on August 9 last year.

On the day of the rescue they were stripped and scrubbed and dressed in black bags ready for another journey in a car boot, leaving the victims thinking they were dressed for burial. Joseph Hadji, 27, of Ashmore Road, Queen's Park, admits two counts of kidnap but denies two counts of false imprisonment and one of blackmail.

Virgil Percival, 36, of Whitehall House, Northwold Road, Stoke Newington, denies two counts of kidnap and one of blackmail.

Paul Wigan, 29, of Milford Towers, Thomas Lane, Catford, admits two counts of false imprisonment and one of blackmail. Thijseen Johns-Elliott, 28, of Siddons Road, Forest Hill, and Jason Goode, 27, of Verdant Lane, Catford, each deny two counts of false imprisonment and one of blackmail.

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