Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A mother who hired an armed gang from New York to kidnap a 10-year-old boy has been jailed for 15 years

BBC News:

Dawn Latida Fields (Clockwise from top left) Jeriah Simpson, Edwin Phillip Damien Francis and Gadwell Gibbs

Dawn Fields, of Clapham, south London, was found guilty of kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail last week.

Fields, 26, hired three men from Brooklyn to carry out the crime, Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court heard.

The boy was taken after Fields wrongly thought a person who lived with the child had stolen £400,000 which was sent to her to be laundered.

The court heard Fields' American boyfriend sent the money to the UK.

Fields then hired the three Americans, paid their flights to Heathrow and ordered them to return with either the money or the child.

In February, the gang tricked their way into the child's home in Walthamstow, north-east London, and ransacked the property before forcing the child to kiss goodbye to his mother.

Convinced he would be shot if he resisted, he was then driven blindfolded to the gang's "stronghold" a few hundred yards from New Scotland Yard. Fields had demanded a £100,000 ransom for his release.

His ordeal lasted two days before armed police rescued him from a locked bathroom after storming the property.

Passing sentence, Judge Simon Smith said to Fields: "It is no good expecting to be given a lighter sentence because you have a two-year-old daughter when you organised the kidnap of somebody else's 10-year-old son."

Jeriah Simpson, 21, Fields' half-brother, was the gang's getaway driver and found guilty of the same charges. He was given 10 years.

Brooklyn gang leader Edwin Phillip, 22, who was branded "evil" by the judge, received 13 years, while his "willing foot soldiers" Damien Francis and Gadwell Gibbs, both 24, were each jailed for 12 years.

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Mortgage fraud in Brooklyn leads to kidnap of 10 year old boy in London

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