A dangerous fugitive who had been on the run for 16 months after he skipped bail for kidnap has been jailed for more than six years after he was finally caught in Spain.
Martin Wolstenholme, 33, sparked a Europe-wide manhunt after he fled the UK following his arrest for kidnapping a man in November 2010.
Wolstenholme recruited “fearsome” yob David Wokoma to snatch Ali Demani from his home in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard Mr Dewani was at home playing monopoly with friends when kidnapper David Wokoma knocked at his door.
David Bennett, prosecuting, said: “Wokoma asked if the man was Ali, grabbed him around the throat and forced him back in the flat.
“Wokoma claimed he owed him £4,000. He covered his face, cuffed his hands, and others in the flat.”
The court heard Mr Demani was put into the footwell of a car and driven to a safe-house in Newcastle.
After about 10 minutes Mr Demani was told to call his brother. Threats were made to kill him unless money was received.
When it became clear no cash would be forthcoming Mr Demani was led from the flat and left close to a fence.
Wolstenholme was arrested but let out on bail and skipped the country before his trial.
He was finally caught in Spain in May this year after his photograph was featured on BBC’s Crimewatch programme.
On Tuesday he was jailed for six years and nine months for organising the kidnap when he appeared at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Jailing Wolstenholme, Judge Paul Glenn told him: “You recruited David Wokoma to do your dirty work.
“He was very physically imposing and fearsome looking. Some very serious threats were made to that young man and he was terrified.
“You orchestrated the involvement of others – Sarah Gajewski and Fabian Williams. You were the organiser, the prime mover.”