Deepings MP’s former aide is jailed for conspiracy to kidnap

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A FORMER aide to Deepings MP John Hayes has been jailed after plotting to kidnap his brother-in-law and dump him 100 miles from his home.

Craig Jackson, who was skills minister Mr Hayes’ agent and a researcher for Stephen O’Brien, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for international development, left his victim Lawrence Marshall in such a state of terror that the 50-year-old jumped out of a moving car as he was being forcibly driven to Dagenham.

Jackson, 40, who recruited two friends to carry out the kidnap, intended to teach Marshall a lesson after learning that his brother-in-law had got into financial difficulty with loan sharks as a result of heavy gambling debts.

David Herbert, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court Marshall was attacked by Jackson and his two friends after visiting Jackson’s sister Angela Skeels, 38, at her home in Holbeach Clough to discuss a possible reconciliation.

Marshall was forced into the back of the car and the doors were locked. His three attackers then joined him and set off for Dagenham.

During the journey Marshall was threatened with a crowbar. As the vehicle approached Peterborough he managed to wind down the window and then jumped out before raising the alarm with a passer-by.

Marshall was taken to Peterborough City Hospital where he was treated for bruising to his face, chest and abdomen before being discharged home.

Later when police inquiries began Angela Skeels and her friend Gina Page, 47, of Estuary Close, Kings Lynn, gave Jackson a false alibi in an attempt to prevent him being implicated in the kidnap. They were both jailed for six months after admitting perverting the course of justice.

Jackson, 40, of Wharf Street, Sutton Bridge; Andrew Sayer, 40, of Moons Green, Moulton; and Ian Barnes, 40, of Cloudesley Road, St Leonards on Sea, Sussex, each admitted conspiracy to kidnap Mr Marshall between January 27 and 31. They were each jailed for two years and eight months.

Judge Michael Heath told Jackson: “I am surprised that you, with your record of service to democracy, should have engaged yourself in these unlawful activities. Now you have lost your career working for two members of parliament.”

Subhankar Banerjee, for Jackson, said the former Army clerk was remorseful and has expressed shame at what he did.

Mr Banerjee said Jackson was worried about threats being made by loan sharks to his sister and her family.

“It is absolutely clear that this offence was not committed for any personal gain. Marshall had very considerable gambling debts and resorted to loan sharks. When he couldn’t pay the loan sharks he and Angela Skeels were put at risk,” he said.