'Sadistic' member of Belsize torture gang jailed for 20 years
PUBLISHED: 18:19 28 May 2015 | UPDATED: 18:19 28 May 2015
A gang member who blackmailed £30,000 from a torture victim's mother by threatening to cut off her son's finger was jailed for 20 years yesterday (Wednesday).
Christopher White, 29, was part of a gang that kidnapped two men and subjected them to “sickening and sadistic” violence at a flat in Belsize Park back in 2013.
One victim was snatched from his flat in Enfield and taken to ringleader Courtney Bishop’s “stronghold” in Dorney tower block, Adelaide Road.
The victim was burnt, beaten and even had a steel baseball bat inserted into his rectum while kidnappers demanded thousands of pounds from his family, the Old Bailey heard.
Whilst lying on the floor with his head covered, the victim heard one of the gang say: “If it’s not here in 20 minutes he loses a finger.”
He was only released once his mother paid them £30,000.
Two days earlier, another man had been put through a similar ordeal when he was dragged from a cab by two men on a motorbike and bundled into the back of a car.
He was taken to the high-rise flat, where he was stripped naked, tied up with belts and wires, had a pillow case put over his head and a sock stuffed into his mouth until he retched.
The gang members then hit him and used a steam iron to burn the soles of his feet before pouring boiling water on his feet.
White, a father-of-three who played a “major role” in both kidnappings, was convicted earlier this month and was yesterday sentenced to 20 years behind bars.
Judge Christopher Moss QC told him: “These were sickening crimes and sadistic violence in order to extort as much money as you could from the victims and their families.”
Detective Sergeant Tim Mustoe, the officer in the case, said: “The defendants were members of a violent gang that treated kidnap and torture as a business. They had no regard for the impact their offending had on the victims or the victim’s families. These convictions demonstrate the commitment of the MPS to tackle violent criminals and bring them to justice.”
Judge Moss sentenced the rest of the gang earlier this month.
Courtney Bishop, 27, of Dunelm Grove, Lambeth, was jailed for a total of 24 years.
Nigel Bishop, 27, of Dunelm Grove, Lambeth, was jailed for a total of 14 years after being convicted in relation to the second victim. He was found not guilty in relation to offences against the first victim.
Allan Smith, 28, of Tufnell Park Road, Islington, was jailed for a total of 11 years after being convicted in relation to the first victim. He had not been charged in relation to the second.
Keith Walker, 35, of Lindsey Close, Mitcham, was jailed of total of 14 years after being convicted in relation to the second victim. He had not been charged in relation to the first.