Two men have been jailed for their involvement in the unlawful detention of a man against his will.

The victim was kept captive, bound by cable ties for about two hours at John Bailey’s home, while accomplice Jaq Martin kept watch outside, on Saturday March 11 this year.

On the final sitting of Durham Crown Court before the Christmas break, Bailey, 39, received a 26-month prison sentence while 24-year-old Martin was sentenced to 19-months.

The Northern Echo: John Bailey, left, and Jaq Martin, both jailed at Durham Crown Court for their invovlement in the

The court heard that Bailey employed the victim as a labourer for the business he part owned, Amber Rose Developments.

Deborah Smithies, prosecuting, told the court the background to events that day are the subject of dispute, but the victim’s account was that he had made off with either drugs or their proceeds which were to be handed to another party and he was engaged to work for Amber Rose to pay off that debt.

Miss Smithies said in the days before the incident he had “gone to ground”, but she said it was Bailey’s case that the complainant had been dishonest, having taken money from the business and customers and then ignored all efforts to contact him.

She said that, “whatever the background”, Bailey and Martin were in contact with each other about locating the complainant on March 11.

Martin was told to tell Bailey when he was going to see the man in east Durham that day and he was given a lift.

The victim was enticed out of his flat by Martin and Bailey approached him from behind and told him to go with him in his car, which he did, “reluctantly”.

He was told to sit in the back seat and Bailey drove to a DIY store where Martin bought cable ties and clippers.

The car was then driven by Martin, who was banned from the road at the time, to Bailey’s home address, where the victim was taken inside.

Once in the house the cable ties were attached, while Martin stood outside with another man.

Miss Smithies said on Bailey’s own account the victim was not permitted to leave the house and the purpose was to discuss “issues of dishonesty” at work.

The Northern Echo:

Bailey was said to have made a series of calls to associates seeking their views as to what should be done with the captive.

He was also shown a firearm Bailey had recently bought, with the weapon and ammunition still in the box.

Following the ordeal at the house he was eventually taken back to Bailey’s car and driven to his flat where his girlfriend was told he would not be long, before he was taken to the home address of another man, after Martin had been dropped off at his girlfriend’s home.

On the way back, Bailey stopped at a shop to buy his victim a new mobile phone.

Miss Smithies said it was about a week later that the victim contacted police to report the events of March 11.

Both defendants were arrested and the firearm, still in its box, was recovered by police from Bailey’s home.

Upon being tested it was found to be a prohibited weapon, but it was accepted Bailey was unlikely to have known that, as he bought it from a legitimate retailer.

Although Bailey, Martin and another co-accused were initially arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to kidnap, charges were not pursued against the third man.

Following the start of their trial, in September, guilty pleas to an alternative count of false imprisonment tendered by both Bailey, of Chapel Terrace, Station Town, and Martin, of Fair View, West Rainton, were accepted by the Crown.

Bailey also admitted possession of a prohibited firearm and Martin admitted driving while disqualified.

Chris Knox, for Bailey, told the sentencing hearing that his client was unaware the firearm was prohibited at the time and the weapon was only “shown” to the complainant and its presence was, “remarked upon”.

He said his client’s ability to use any force was impaired at the time due to ruptures to both bicep muscles and he had one arm in a sling.

Mr Knox also questioned the factual accuracy of the victim’s account of the incident and its background, adding: “It was about a commercial dispute that ended perfectly amicably.”

Judge James Adkin responded by stating: “I’m persuaded there are huge credibility issues with the complainant.”

Penny Hall for Martin, said he admitted false imprisonment on the “limited basis” of his involvement in the events that day.

“He appreciates he should have stayed out of this and should not have got involved in someone else’s business matters.”

Passing sentence, Judge Adkin said, “there was a measure of planning” behind the commission of the offences and there was some “intimidation” of the complainant, of which Martin would have been aware.

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He said the false imprisonment lasted about two hours and there was, “a measure of professional criminality” involved, while the victim would have felt a level of, “fear, intimidation and discomfort”.

The judge made both Bailey and Martin subject to indefinite restraining orders forbidding them from contacting or approaching the victim.

He also ordered forfeiture of the firearm and other items used in the commission of the offences.