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Pair are jailed after kidnapping man over drug debt and seriously assaulting him in car
17 Mar | 10:03

Kenneth Ingham and Stephen Cardella are both now beginning jail terms

Two men who kidnapped another man over a drug debt and subjected him to a terrifying assault are now behind bars.

Kenneth Ingham and Stephen Cardella led their victim out of a Newcastle pub on February 5, 2022, before bundling him into a car.

After driving a short distance, Ingham assaulted the victim with a claw hammer and then a bladed article while Cardella demanded money from him.

The victim suffered a hairline fracture to his cheekbone as well as a cut to his left elbow which later required corrective surgery.

Following the terrifying assault, the victim was left at the side of the road as his attackers drove off.

A day later, Ingham called the victim and asked if he had contacted the police about the kidnap and assault, while also making threats against his family. The victim was left scared to leave his own home and feared further physical attacks.

The vehicle used in the kidnap, which had an insurance policy on it registered to Ingham, was recovered the day after the incident. Inside was the claw hammer and a bank card belonging to Ingham, as well as a betting slip with Cardella’s fingerprints on.

Officers with Northumbria Police were able to identify both Ingham and Cardella from CCTV footage which captured the moment they escorted their victim to the car so that they could assault him.

After being arrested by officers, both defendants gave no comment in their respective interviews.

Despite pleading not guilty, both men were convicted following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court. At the same court on Thursday, March 16, Ingham and Cardella were jailed.

Ingham, 30, of Denton Grove, Westerhope, Newcastle, was found guilty of kidnap and grievous bodily harm and sentenced to eight years in prison, with an extended four-year licence period.

Cardella, 29, of Northumbrian Way, North Shields, was also found guilty of kidnap, as well as causing serious harm without intent, and jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Detective Sergeant Scott Youngman, of Northumbria Police, said: “The victim in this case was put through a terrible ordeal and I have no doubt this incident will stay with him for a long time.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank him for his bravery and co-operation throughout these proceedings, which will no doubt have brought back some difficult memories.  I would also like to thank the jury and our partners in the criminal justice system for the sentences handed down which reflect the severity of the case.

“Thanks to the hard work of officers, we were able to quickly identify both Ingham and Cardella and get them arrested and interviewed. Although they denied carrying out the offences, the weight of evidence against them was overwhelming and that is why they have been convicted.

“We will not tolerate criminality of this kind, and anyone who thinks this is acceptable behaviour has no place whatsoever in our communities.”

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