Teenagers are found guilty of kidnap after stealing family's car

Teenagers, 15 and 16, are found guilty of kidnap after stealing family’s car from their driveway with boys aged two and four strapped in the back and going on high-speed chase from police

  • One told Birmingham Magistrates’ Court he crashed into two cars at high speed
  • The defendants, one now 16, both claimed they did not notice the children in car
  • The boy who drove the car claimed he took the vehicle to settle a £40 drug debt
  • District Judge Shamim Qureshi found both youths guilty of two counts of kidnap

Two teenagers have been found guilty of kidnapping two brothers aged two and four whose family car was stolen as their father dropped off food at a friend’s home.

One of the youths, who were both aged 15 at the time of the offence, told Birmingham Magistrates’ Court how he crashed into two other cars at high speed, before being arrested by armed police.

The defendants, one now 16, both claimed they did not notice the children were in the vehicle when they saw it with its engine running in the Selly Park area.

The boy who drove the car, who is still 15, claimed he took the vehicle to settle a £40 drug debt, after mistaking the youngsters’ father for a delivery driver.

The youth insisted he did not realise the siblings had been strapped into the rear of the Nissan Note until police arrested him on suspicion of kidnap.

But District Judge Shamim Qureshi accepted the evidence of the boys’ father – who told the court he shouted to alert the youths to the fact his sons were inside the vehicle minutes before the crash on Birmingham’s busy A38 Bristol Road.

One of the youths, who were both aged 15 at the time of the offence, told Birmingham Magistrates’ Court (pictured) how he crashed into two other cars at high speed, before being arrested by armed police

Finding both defendants guilty of two counts of kidnap, Judge Qureshi said: ‘The only issue in this case is whether the defendants took the children without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.

‘Their defence in this case is that they were unaware that the two children were in the car.’

Ruling that the younger youth had decided to steal the Nissan and the other boy ‘went along with’ the theft, the judge said common sense meant the children would not have remained quiet during the entire journey.

Both defendants admitted aggravated vehicle taking, incorporating dangerous driving, at a previous hearing, but had denied kidnap.

The court heard the children’s father was left crying hysterically in the street after his vehicle was stolen on Saturday February 20.

Although the older child was uninjured in the crash, the two-year-old suffered a cut to his mouth and a bruised shoulder caused by the straps of his car seat.

District Judge Shamim Qureshi accepted the evidence of the boys’ father – who told the court he shouted to alert the youths to the fact his sons were inside the vehicle minutes before the crash on Birmingham’s busy A38 Bristol Road (general view)

Giving evidence as his mother watched from the public gallery, the boy who drove the car told the court he was equipped with bolt cutters and looking for a bicycle to steal when he saw the Nissan with its engine running.

Claiming his intention was to sell the car to pay off a debt, the youth said he crashed after being pursued by a police van and seeing oncoming squad cars.

Describing the moment of impact, the 15-year-old went on: ‘I sandwiched the car between two other cars and then ran off.

‘The very second I have crashed, the airbags went off in my face. It was smoky in the car and I have blacked out for a quick second. My ears were ringing and then I ran off.’

The older youth was bailed until sentencing at the same court on May 17. The other defendant was remanded into youth detention and will be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on May 19.

Neither youth can be named because of his age.

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