A Leeds university student was kidnapped during a night out and then tortured for 22 hours by a criminal gang who forced him to give them his life savings.
A 21-year-old student was lured into a car around 3am, October 17, 2019 after being separated from his friends on a night out in Leeds. Zakariya Osman, Harris Saqib and one other forced the victim to hand over his bank card and PIN number.
He was punched repeatedly after attempts were made to withdraw money from a cash machine failed and the PIN number did not work. The kidnapping lasted 22 hours in which the student was force-fed tablets, made to drink vodka and told he would be murdered unless he complied with their demands.
Cigarettes were used to burn his face, arms and body. Osman told the victim he would “take this to an M”, which was interpreted to mean that he would take it to murder.
A total of £4,810 was transferred to the defendants’ accounts. The bank stopped further sums being transferred into Saqib’s wife’s account and Osman’s girlfriend’s account. Osman and Saqib had the money paid into bank accounts in their own names, as they were convinced the victim would not tell the police.
The prosecution told the Court: “He [the student] had to leave university and Leeds, despite attempting to carry on as normal. He found the stress and pressure of being in Leeds and his studies overwhelming.”
The judge who sentenced the pair at Leeds Crown Court yesterday described the incident as “a chilling crime”.
Judge Tom Bayliss QC gave Osman, of no fixed address, a 30-year extended prison sentence, made up of a 25-year custodial term, followed by a five-year extended licence period.
Saqib, also of no fixed address, was handed a 20-year extended prison sentence made up of a custodial period of 17-and-a-half years, followed by a two-and-a-half-year extended licence period.