FOUR members of a Lithuanian gang who threatened to cut up and beat a man if he did not hand over £10,000 in cash, have been jailed for a total of eight years.
Burnley Crown Court heard how terrified factory worker Donatos Malciiaukas was told he would be overdosed on heroin and left for dead in the street if he did not do as they said.
The victim told the court how Ruslan Sivoborod (31), Albertas Filatovas (37), Gediminas Paskevicius (37), and Rimas Vilkevicius (36) kidnapped him at knife-point and drove him to a cash machine. Filatovas, who thought the victim owed him the money, recruited the other men in order to carry out the crime.
Mr Malciiaukas was punched and forced to withdraw £100 from the machine and was then told that a car would be waiting at his house later that day to collect another £1,000.
The victim later went to police and the four men were arrested three days later.
Sivoborod, a father-of-two of Melville Street and Filatovas, Vilkevicius and Paskevicius all of Brennand Street, Burnley, admitted kidnapping and blackmailing Mr Malciiaukas last August.
Filatovas was sentenced to three years, Sivoborod was given 21 months, Vilkevicius was jailed for 12 months and Paskevicius was given 21 months by Judge Andrew Woolman.
Father-of-two Filatovas, was also running a cannabis factory from his family home, where police found 30 to 40 plants and admitted producing the drug and abstracting electricity.
Speaking after the sentencing, DC Martin Legdon of Burnley CID said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for the man who was left with bruising and in fear of his life. It took tremendous courage for him to come forward and report the matter to the police.
“I’m satisfied with the sentence they have been given. They are a very dangerous and predatory group of people who used extreme violence to threaten and intimidate the victim. Incidents like this are rare but where they do happen, we will do everything within our power to target those involved and bring them to justice.”
The four defendants all face deportation after they have served their sentences.