Two men have been sentenced after forcing teenagers to call their parents and bring them money to secure their release.
Aramis Sullivan, 19, and Brandon Southall, 25, approached two young men in a McDonald’s in Northampton in August 2021 and intimidated them into leaving, before making them drive to Coventry under threats of harm and demanding £1,000 from relatives to secure their release, Northamptonshire Police said on Wednesday.
The victims managed to raise £500 from relatives and friends before being forced to bank transfer and withdraw the remaining £500, then being made to drive around for six hours – travelling to Birmingham and then back to Northampton – and only escaping when Sullivan and Southall got out of the car.
It came a day after Sullivan, 19, and another man, who was not named by police, threatened a 17-year-old boy on a Northampton footbridge and made his mother travel to a secluded wooded area to pay £200 to secure her son’s release.
He was also sentenced for making indecent images of children and was placed on the sex offenders’ register for seven years.
Sullivan, formerly of Luton, had been sentenced to six years and three months in February at the same court for three counts of blackmail, two of kidnap, and others of attempted robbery, robbery and fraud relating to previous offences.
Detective Sergeant Cory Wise, of Northamptonshire Police, said: “I am pleased with the sentences handed out in this case as they demonstrate the seriousness with which we, and the courts, take crimes such as this.
“The victims in these incidents went through terrifying experiences at the hands of Sullivan and Southall, with their parents being put through equal distress wondering whether their children were going to be harmed or not.
“I hope both Sullivan and Southall spend their time behind bars reflecting on their actions and that they come out determined to make better life choices.
“Thankfully, incidents of kidnap and blackmail are rare in Northamptonshire but I hope this case reassures people that when they do happen, we deal with them quickly and robustly.”