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Three men jailed for kidnap of man rescued by armed police in Old Kent Road

Three men have been jailed for a total of 29 years after violently kidnapping a 21-year-old man and holding him hostage for four days.

 Deji Adegunle, Ladi Agbaje, Stephen Rochester
Jailed: Deji Adegunle, Ladi Agbaje & Stephen Rochester

The three men – all from Camberwell – were sentenced on Thursday at Croydon Crown Court.

22-year-old Deji Adegunle was sentenced to three concurrent terms of 13 years in jail for conspiracy to commit kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail.

Ladi Agbaje, 28, was sentenced to two concurrent terms of seven years for conspiracy to commit kidnap and false imprisonment.

Stephen Rochester, 21, was given two concurrent 9-year sentences for conspiracy to commit kidnap and false imprisonment.

On 13 November 2009 the victim was lured by an unknown woman to Rochester's home in Camberwell where he was kidnapped.

He was then held in a series of addresses across south London whilst demands of up to 50,000 were made to his family to secure his safe release.

Greatly concerned for his health and welfare, the family worked closely with detectives to mediate with the kidnappers in an effort to secure his release.

During his incarceration the victim was assaulted tied up with duct tape, threatened with a gun and had a heated knife held against his skin.

At 2.47am on 18 November 2009 detectives saw a silver VW Golf drive into Lancaster Street from Borough Road and slow down outside the entrance to the Gateway Centre before parking in a nearby side street.

Rochester appeared from the vehicle in a blue hooded top, walked towards the entrance whilst talking on his mobile phone and rang the doorbell.

Soon afterwards Adegunle and Agbaje appeared at the doorway holding the victim by the arm and put him into the car.

Officers followed the car which was stopped by armed police on Old Kent Road at about 3.15am.

Adegunle and Agbaje were immediately arrested on suspicion of kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail. The hostage was rescued from the back seat of the car and was visibly shaken with a substantial black eye. He was taken to hospital and treated for his injuries.

Rochester, who had remained at the address in Lancaster Street, was observed by officers getting onto a bus at which point he was then arrested.

When searched, officers found keys to his address in Camberwell where the victim had been held.

"These were organised and clearly dangerous individuals who have rightly faced justice for the terror they inflicted on their victim," said Detective Chief Inspector Craig Turner.

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