Men kidnapped victim outside Newcastle pub and attacked him with claw hammer over drug debt

Kenneth Ingham (left) and Stephen Cardella have been jailed for kidnap. Credit: Northumbria Police

Two men who kidnapped their victim and assaulted him with a claw hammer have been jailed.

Northumbria Police said the man was kidnapped over a drug debt.

Kenneth Ingham and Stephen Cardella led their victim out of a Newcastle pub on 5 February, 2022, before bundling him into a car.

After driving a short distance, Ingham assaulted the victim with a claw hammer and a bladed article while Cardella demanded money from him.

The victim, who suffered a hairline fracture to his cheekbone as well as a cut to his left elbow which later required corrective surgery, was left on the side of the road as his attackers drove off.

A day later, Ingham called the victim and asked if he had contacted the police about the kidnap and assault, while also making threats against his family.

The victim was left scared to leave his own home and feared further physical attacks.

The pair pleaded not guilty but were convicted following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

Ingham, 30, of Denton Grove, Westerhope, Newcastle, was found guilty of kidnap and grievous bodily harm and sentenced to eight years in prison, with an extended four-year licence period.

Cardella, 29, of Northumbrian Way, North Shields, was also found guilty of kidnap, as well as causing serious harm without intent, and jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Detective Sergeant Scott Youngman, of Northumbria Police, said: “The victim in this case was put through a terrible ordeal and I have no doubt this incident will stay with him for a long time.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank him for his bravery and co-operation throughout these proceedings, which will no doubt have brought back some difficult memories."

He added: “We will not tolerate criminality of this kind, and anyone who thinks this is acceptable behaviour has no place whatsoever in our communities.”

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