A man who was kidnapped and chained to a tree at gunpoint was found and rescued by police after he was able to Google his location on his smartphone.
Sander Cokelaere managed to hide the phone in his sock after he was taken hostage by John Spence. The quick thinking kidnap victim then used it to find his exact coordinates and sent a screenshot to his boss, who raised the alarm.
Apparently, Spence hatched the intricate plot because he was in debt and felt the firm owed him £2,000. He used a fake name and false email address to contact the company and meet with Cokelaere.
Posing as a customer wanting to buy an £18,000 staircase, Spence disguised himself in a brown curly wig, hat and sunglasses for the meeting in Oadby in June.
He then offered to drive his victim to meet with other clients before pulling out a replica gun, before he took the businessman to a remote woodland spot, and chained and padlocked him to a tree.
Spence then nicked this poor lad’s bank card and demanded his PIN number. However, while this nutter disappeared to withdraw £500 of cash, Cokelaere used Google on his phone to find out where he was.
At Leicester Crown Court, the 51-year-old Spence admitted blackmail, kidnap, theft of a bank card and fraudulently using it to obtain £500, as well as pleading guilty to possession of an imitation firearm. He was jailed for eight years.
Don’t let it ever be said that technology isn’t a life saver!