A BRUTAL gang that kidnapped and tortured a Kidderminster man has started jail terms totalling 68.5 years - but their victim has been sentenced to a life in fear of a "bounty" on his head.

Ringleader Tariq Mahmood, 41, was jailed 17 years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to kidnap, false imprisonment, grievous bodily harm with intent and unlawful wounding.

His partners in crime received terms ranging from two and a half to 17 years each - and a Bewdley man, the father of the victim's partner, is yet to be sentenced.

The court heard that 37-year-old victim Wasim Yaqub (correct) was held captive for 28 hours, stripped naked, beaten with hammers and stabbed after he was kidnapped from outside his home in Upton Road, Kidderminster, on August 3 last year.

Alan Kent, QC, prosecuting, told Worcester Crown Court that Mr Yaqub had revealed to police he would forever have to look over his shoulder.

"While the convictions may bring an end to the proceedings, they won't bring an end to the physical and mental suffering of Mr Yaqub," said Mr Kent.

"He remains concerned there is a bounty on his head and he will forever have to live in secret and in fear."

Mr Yaqub had been on the run from Tariq Mahmood for four years, the court heard.

Mahmood, of Castle Hill Drive, Castle Bromwich, believed Mr Yaqub owed him around £30,000 from a Bulgarian property deal that went wrong.

Mr Yaqub and his partner, Stacey Bayley, had lived in at least 16 different properties with their two children before arriving in Kidderminster.

Stacey Bayley's father, Robert Collins, 58, lived in Severnside, Bewdley, but she did not trust him to keep their whereabouts safe and falsely told him they were planning to move to London.

Mr Kent said Collins tipped off Mahmood that he would have to act fast if he was to take Mr Yaqub at the Kidderminster address.

Mahmood and Robert Watters drove there and grabbed Mr Yaqub, while his distraught partner watched through the window.

He was hit in the face and bundled into a car and driven to a storage unit on a farm in Birmingham, where he was stripped naked, kept in the dark and beaten with hammers.

The following day, he was stabbed, put in the boot of a car and taken to another house in Birmingham and left outside.

Passers by eventually heard his cries for help and the kidnappers drove him away before dumping him in the early hours of August 5 with a warning not to go to the police.

Mr Yaqub's ankle broken and his face badly injured.

Judge Robert Juckes, QC, said Mr Yaqub had been subjected to a form of torture while in the container unit.

The judge, who praised police for their work on the case, said: "He was held for 28 hours and told he was likely to die and his family would be held in similar circumstances."

Paul Murray, 42, of Linwood Court, Birmingham, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kidnap, false imprisonment and causing grievous bodily harm part way through the trial, got 15 years.

Mahmood's brother, Tehery Mahmood, 37, of Mears Drive, Stechford, Birmingham, was jailed for 14 years after a jury found him guilty of false imprisonment and grievous bodily harm.

Steven Taylor, 37, of Johnstone Street, Aston, Birmingham, was jailed for two-and-a-half years after being found guilty of false imprisonment and Watters, 47, of Chester Road, Castle Bromwich, was given three years after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kidnap.

Collins, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kidnap, will be sentenced on September 24.

Another man was also given 17 years but cannot be named by court order due to further proceedings.

Detective Superintendent Paul Williamson, of West Mercia Police, said Mr Yaqub was lucky to escape alive.

He added: “Despite determined efforts to frustrate the investigation and evade capture, including disposal of vehicles and the container, the investigation team successfully gathered evidence to identify the role played by each defendant who were then tracked down and arrested."