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Five men jailed for false imprisonment in Yelverton

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Public praised for helping bring offenders to justice

Five people have been jailed for the false imprisonment of a 55-year-old man in Yelverton on 17 February 2018.

Dean Ramsell, Jez Ball, Robert Haywood, David Bird and Stephen Cooper were sentenced at Exeter Crown Court on Thursday 7 November.

Devon and Cornwall Police has praised the public for helping to bring the offenders to justice.

All admitted five men admitted a charge of false imprisonment. 

Ramsell, aged 44, of Main Street, Coalvile, Leicestershire, was jailed for two years and four months.

Ball, aged 56, of Stert Quarry Farm, Diptford, Totnes, was sentenced to four years in prison.

Haywood, aged 56, of Stanton Road, Burton-On-Trent, Staffordshire, was jailed for two years and eight months.

Bird, aged 58, of Fairfield Crescent, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, was sentenced to two years and four months in prison.

Cooper, aged 58, of The City, Woodville, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, was jailed for two years and eight months.

Detective Inspector Praveen Naidoo said: “The victim was lured to a location under the pretence of potential employment whereupon he was pursued by a BMW, trapped in a yard and then set upon by the occupants wearing balaclavas.

“During the attack the windows of his car were smashed and the victim eventually fled on foot, pursued by one of the men, eventually taking shelter in a house nearby.

“After failing to catch the victim, all five men made off in the BMW and the victim’s car. The BMW was stopped later that day on the M5 by armed officers.

"In the boot of the BMW were some bags. One contained cable ties, an axe, scissors, a screwdriver, pliers and a hammer. A second had rope, a chain, a blow-torch, more cable ties, and black tape.

“There were two pillow cases and three petrol cans; one containing petrol, the other two water. Also in the back was a thick roll of plastic sheeting.

“In their defence, the defendants have said how their intention was to secure repayment of a debt and that they never intended to cause the victim any physical harm.”

Members of the public played a crucial role in helping police locate the suspects; one photographed their vehicle, while another witnessed registration plates being changed. Another gave the victim refuge after he was chased.

Detective Constable Wayne Thielmann added: “Events like this are very rare, no matter where you live in the country.

“These people came down to a very rural, quiet area on a sunny late winter morning with the intent to cause misery to the victim.

“Often people shy away from getting involved with crimes they witness, especially when confronted with the violence that these offenders were showing, however, if it was not for the bravery of the local community on that day, the police would have struggled to locate the culprits so quickly and provide evidence to get such a successful outcome in court.”

Detective Constable Louise Hodge said: “This is another example in recent years of when the residents of West Devon have come together and helped police convict offenders of violent crimes.”  

Superintendent Toby Davies added: “This result has come about due to the hard work and dedication to the two officers in the case over the last 18 months.

“Credit and recognition is also due to police staff in specialist roles within the organisation who have worked tirelessly to help build the case from behind the scenes.”

Jennie Harmston, aged 63, of Cistern Street, Totnes, who had been charged with conspiring to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, was fully acquitted in September.


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