A DEBT collector who suffered a terrifying kidnap ordeal by armed thugs has been commended and rewarded for his bravery.
Awarding Brian Beesley £500 from public funds, the High Sheriff of Kent Nigel Wheeler, said he had shown composure under enormous difficulties.
Mr Beesley was abducted after Simon Friday, 31, and Dion Hemsworth, 35, and another man burst into his home in Bruce Close, Deal, in January last year.
The three wore balaclavas or ski masks and were armed with a stun gun and an axe. Mr Beesley’s hands and legs were tied up and he was gagged with tape.
He was bundled into the back of his own car and a pillowcase was pulled over his head. He was then forced to reveal the PIN for his company credit card before being dumped in a car park in Reculver.
Judge Jeremy Carey described it as “a truly dreadful crime” when he sentenced Friday, of Saxton Street, Gillingham, and Hemsworth, of Ingram Road, Gillingham, each to 10 years' imprisonment.
They admitted aggravated burglary and kidnap. Friday also admitted possessing a firearm before the expiration of a prison sentence and was jailed for a further three years.
Judge Carey said at the award ceremony at Maidstone Crown Court that the gang misguidedly believed Mr Beesley had a lot of money at his home. The third man has never been caught.
“It must have been a very terrifying experience for you, not knowing what the outcome would be,” he said.
“Fortunately, they didn’t do more than subject you to unpleasant rough handling. Happily, you were not seriously injured.”
Mr Beesley, he said, was able to give the police vital information about the men. DNA evidence helped to lead to their arrest.
“They will be in prison for a substantial period of time,” said the judge.
The High Sheriff told Mr Beesley, who attended court with his mother and son: “Your experience was very traumatic. You were brave and showed composure in enormous difficulties.
“I have for you a certificate and a cheque to show the appreciation of the court and thank you very much for the example you set as something we hope the folk of Kent will appreciate and follow.”