‘Kidnap’ gang beat up victim on moors above Burnley: court hears

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A MAN was forced into a car by a gang, taken to a remote area of Burnley, attacked and abandoned, a jury was told.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Kurt Swindlehurst was left injured after he was beaten with weapons in the early evening incident, last November 14th.

The hearing was told Peter Carroll (48), was alleged to have been one of the group. He says he wasn’t there and it was nothing to do with him. The defendant, of Florence Street, Burnley, denies affray.

Mark Ellis (35) of Clitheroe Road, Brierfield, Bradley Lister (18) of Whitefield Terrace, John Fielden (23) of Cameron Street, both Burnley, and Jason Miller (26) of Grove Lane, Padiham, have all admitted affray, the court heard.

Mark Lamberty, prosecuting, said the offence was committed against a “background of some disharmony,” between Mr Swindlehurst and others who lived on Stoops Estate, in Burnley.

Mr Swindlehurst was taken from Brush Street in a vehicle by a group of men, to a location above the golf course at Crown Point and assaulted with weapons.

The prosecutor continued: “A baseball bat seems to feature.” The victim was then left there to make his own way back to the bottom of the hill.

Mr Lamberty said Mr Swindlehurst suffered injuries to his forehead and body and received a fractured finger.

The prosecutor said Carroll attended the police station at the request of officers and was formally arrested and interviewed. He gave a prepared statement, denying any involvement in the offence.

The defendant told police he had been out and about running errands, had been to a friend’s house in Bacup and he had been there for the rest of the evening.

The barrister alleged: “The prosecution say that this defendant was a party to this offence. We say he was in it together with the others.”

Giving evidence, Mr Swindlehurst told the court: “I don’t know what went on, because I can’t remember that night at all.”

Asked by Mr Lamberty: “Do you remember making any sort of complaint to the police last year? Do you remember making any statement to the police ?” He replied: “No.”

Asked by Mr Lamberty why he couldn’t remember, Mr Swindlehurst answered: “I have had a bad life. I am mentally ill.”

Mr Swindlehurst, who said he had had a lot of trouble in his life with drugs, told the court he accepted he was “refusing to help the police” when they spoke to him again in January about the incident.

l (proceeding)