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MERCENARIES; Jail for kidnap gang who struck in row over car debt.

Byline: By Gordon McIlwraith

A GANG who kidnapped a news agent from outside his Edinburgh home were jailed yesterday.

The terrified victim, Tahar Javaid, 37, was only rescued when police stopped a van on the M6 in England.

The father-of-three was snatched after a dispute with a member of the four-strong gang over the sale of a Mercedes car. During his ordeal, he was beaten with a metal bar and a knuckleduster.

Passing sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Menzies told the gang: "I regard this as a very sinister and extremely alarming offence.

"Goodness knows what would have happened if neighbours had not alerted the police and they had not stopped the van in Cumbria."

One of the gang, Stephen Snape, 29, of Oldham, Lancashire, who was jailed for 10 years, screamed: "Ten years for that, it's a f******joke."

Tahir Rashid, 35, and Saquib Hussain, 22, both of Rochdale, Lancashire, were sentenced to 10 and six years respectively.

David Livesey, 28, of Manchester, who played a lesser role, was given two years.

Rashid, Snape and Hussain were all found guilty of abduction and assault.

Livesey was convicted of detaining Mr Javaid against his will.

The newsagent was grabbed from outside his house in the west of Edinburgh last August.

The court heard that the gang had driven through the night and arrived in the capital shortly after dawn.

An earlier hearing was told that Mr Javaid owed Rashid pounds 4000-pounds 5000 after the sale of the Mercedes.

CAPTION(S):

ATTACK: Snape, left, got 10 years, Livesey was jailed for two years, Rashid got 10 years and Hussain got six years' ROW: Mercedes' VICTIM: Tahar Javaid
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 23, 2006
Words:280
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