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Gang who kidnapped mother and demanded £18,000 jailed

JAILED: (L-R) Donovan Tull, Sean Atkins and Liam Wallace

THREE MEN who kidnapped a mother from her home and demanding a ransom of £18,000 have been sentenced to a total od 29 years in jail.

Croydon Crown Court heard how the gang, comprised of Donovan Tull, 29, Liam Wallace, 24 and Sean Atkins, 30, entered the victim's home in Rainham, Essex, in the early hours of March 26 armed with a handgun and wearing balaclavas.

At gunpoint they forced the family of five into separate rooms and ransacked the property looking for cash before kidnapping the mother and bundling her into the back of a waiting van.

The gang ordered the remaining members of the family to secure a ransom of £18,000 for the safe release of the mother.

The victim, aged in her 50s, was driven to a car park in Pringle Gardens, in south London, but she managed to escape when the raiders left the van unattended. She was able to contact her family who raised the alarm with police.

Officers arrested the alleged ringleader, Donovan Tull, in connection with the incident the next day.

They later traced Wallace and Atkins.

The three were convicted today (Dec 20) of six counts each including, aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to possess a firearm or imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence, conspiracy to falsely imprison, conspiracy to blackmail and conspiracy to kidnap.

Tull was sentenced to a total of 14 years imprisonment, Wallace to a total of 11 years and Atkins to a total of 14 years.

Detective Inspector Mark Brookes, who led the investigation, said: “This was a truly terrifying incident which left a family incredibly shaken. Tull, Wallace and Atkins were clearly of the impression that a large amount of money would be held at the Essex address and when they discovered their mistake they became increasingly violent. Despite the speed of the situation the mother was able to remain calm, escape from the van and raise the alarm. She was then able to provide significant detail to police and assist us apprehend the men.”

He added: “Today’s sentencing reflects the seriousness of the offences committed by Tull, Wallace and Atkins. Their motives to target this innocent family were purely fuelled by greed. These convictions follow a protracted and complex investigation by the MPS Serious and Organised Crime Command and the lengthy sentences should act a suitable deterrent.”

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