A GANG of Sunderland men who tried to take the law into their own hands found themselves charged with attempting to kidnap.
Durham Crown Court heard the men lured a 19-year-old man to a meeting at the Esso Service Station in Deneside, Seaham.
“The son of one of the Sunderland group had had his motorcycle stolen,” said Tim Gittins, prosecuting.
“They thought the younger man might know where it was.
“There is a suggestion the younger man is an habitual receiver of stolen motorbikes.
“Customers at the service station witnessed a scuffle which resulted in the younger man being taken to the kiosk.”
The court heard the four men were alleged to have tried to bundle the younger man into a car.
Paul Clark, 22, of Pembroke Avenue, John McGough, 50, of Hill Street, Michael Laing 21, of Westgate Avenue, and Graeme Adams 37, Sunnybrow, Silksworth, all denied attempted kidnap on December 7, last year.
Mr Gittins said the younger man was the main prosecution witness but had not attended court, so the Crown would offer no evidence on the kidnap charge.
Not guilty verdicts to attempted kidnap were recorded for the four men.
Laing admitted an alternative charge of affray.
The Recorder, Mr Mark Cran, sentenced Laing to eight months in prison, suspended for one year, and 120 hours of community work.
The recorder said: “The four of you tried to take the law into your own hands, and customers at the filling station were seriously shocked by what you did.”
The other three men agreed to be bound over to keep the peace for one year.