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Kidnap plotter's jail term slashed

PUBLISHED: 11:21 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:04 25 August 2010

A WOMAN who plotted to kidnap a former employee of her husband s business has had her jail term slashed at London's Criminal Appeal Court.

A WOMAN who plotted to kidnap a former employee of her husband's business has had her jail term slashed at London's Criminal Appeal Court.

Nichole Rice, 42, of Button Street, Swanley Village failed to convince three top judges that her convictions for conspiring to kidnap and falsely imprison Alan Clarke should be overturned. But the mother-of-two's five-year jail term was reduced to three-and-a-half years, after the Appeal Court accepted she had almost certainly been 'drawn into' the scheme by her husband. Her co-defendant, Michael Kelly, 64, of Clayworth Close, Sidcup - who was found guilty of the same offences at Maidstone Crown Court - had both his appeal against his false imprisonment conviction and his five-year jail term dismissed last Wednesday. The pair made up one half of a gang who targeted Mr Clarke after he left his job at Erith Storage in 2006.

Dean Rice, Nichole's husband and proprietor of the firm, and Trevor Chrouch, from Sheffield, were also convicted of the same two offences in October 2007 and both were jailed indefinitely for public protection after being classified as "dangerous" offenders.

It was the prosecution case that Mr Clarke had been tied up in a warehouse and beaten with an iron bar over a business dispute.

He was eventually released but, in March 2006, he was snatched as he walked down a Camden street and bundled into the back of a van. Mr Clarke was driven to a farm in Ashford and tied up but escaped by jumping from a window.

Jacqueline Samuel, representing Rice, said there was nothing to show that she knew what her husband was up to.

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