A man has been sentenced for kidnap after he grabbed a schoolboy in a headlock and “frog-marched” him to the flats where he blamed the innocent youngster for throwing a stone.
Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday (Tuesday) the alarm was raised after a friend of the 11-year-old rushed to his home crying that he had been forcibly taken from the park where they had been playing.
Simon Waley, prosecuting, said earlier on the evening of October 15 Mohammed Sheikh had been disturbed by the noise of a stone hitting a window of his home in Wensleydale House, Batley.
Looking out he saw some children running off and went out in his car to search for them.
He did not find them and so left his car and began looking on foot. He saw the schoolboy at a park in Batley and “grabbed hold of him in a headlock.”
He also put something to the boy’s neck which his victim believed was a knife although Sheikh said later it was the handle of a spoon he had been holding.
He then walked the boy partly in a headlock and partly holding his wrists back to the block of flats where the incident had occurred. Once there he addressed him about the dangers of throwing stones before eventually letting him go.
By then members of the boy’s family were searching for him after a friend “crying uncontrollably” had told them “someone’s got him in the park.”
When the 11-year-old was released within minutes and reached home he was “struggling to breath” and now no longer wanted to play outside.
When Sheikh was interviewed he said he accepted his behaviour was unacceptable but said he had been trying to protect his family.
Shufqat Khan, representing Sheikh, urged the court not to jail him. He said he and neighbours had been plagued by anti-social behaviour and he realised he had over-reacted that night. He accepted the boy was innocent of what he had suspected and wanted to apologise.
His solicitor added: “He knows the 11-year-old must have been terrified by the ordeal he went through thankfully it was a reasonably short incident.”
Sheikh, 31 admitted kidnap and was given a 12 month prison sentenced suspended for 12 months with a curfew from 9pm to 6am for four months.
Recorder Peter Pimm said he had reacted improperly but bearing in mind all the circumstances he could draw back from an immediate jail sentence.