Two fuel thieves brutally assaulted an accomplice before locking him in the boot of a car in a row over stolen diesel in Peterborough. But they were being watched.
Artur Kasteckij (29) and Jonas Zilevicius (29) lured victim Alens Marcinkevics to a deserted car park in Edgcote Close, Westwood.
Once there, the pair kicked, punched and kneed him in the midnight attack, fracturing his cheek bones.
The pair then loaded a terrified Mr Marcinkevics into the boot of his own car before driving off.
But the duo were unaware they were being watched by Awat Mohammed, who lived in a nearby block of flats.
He was alerted by Marcinkevics’ screams for help. Mr Mohammed telephoned police, and then followed the kidnappers’ car. He kept police informed about the journey, and police arrested the pair at the Eye roundabout.
Kasteckij, of Pomona Way, Peterborough and Zilevicius, of no fixed abode, but who had lived in March, were later jailed for five-and-a-half years each, after a jury found them guilty of causing grievous bodily harm and kidnapping.
Mr Mohammed was also given a £500 reward for his efforts which lead to the capture of the two men.
Judge Nic Madge, sentencing, said: “I have no doubt that the background to these offences was as described by Mr Marcinkevics’s partner, Ms Vilka.
“You decided to punish Mr Marcinkevics after her revelation to you that he had stolen diesel which you yourselves had stolen.
“You have not admitted where you were taking him, or indicated what would have happened to him had the car not been stopped by the police.
“The most likely destination, given the direction of travel of the car, was Mr Zilevicius’ house in March.
“In the absence of any credible explanation, the inference which I draw is that either you intended to inflict further injury upon him, or given his evidence that you had already forced him to pay you several thousand pounds, that you intended to extract more money from him as a punishment.”
Defending Kasteckij, Lawrence Bruce said he was the main breadwinner for his partner and two-year-old daughter, and had limited previous convictions for violence.
Charles Falk, defending Zilevicius, said the offence was out of character for his client, and he had shown remorse for his actions.
Judge Madge described the incident as a carefully planned, premeditated attack.
Praising Mr Mohammed, Judge Madge said: “I recommend that the High Sheriff make a reward of £500 to Awat Mohammed.
“He behaved as model citizen in leaving the safety of his own flat late at night, telephoning the police and then following the defendants in his own car.
“His quick thinking resulted in the rapid apprehension of both defendants and perhaps more importantly the release of Mr Marcinkevics.”