12 years for man who kidnapped woman and daughter

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The Independent Online

A builder who abducted a woman and her two-year-old daughter at gunpoint from their luxury home and kept them captive for more than 18 hours was jailed for 12 years today.

A court heard how Tony Scaife, 52, burst into the woman's home in the middle of the night with his son, Matthew, 26, who was jailed for 10 years today for his part in the kidnapping.

Scaife, who had been in dispute with the woman's husband over building work at their Yorkshire Dales home, raided the house with his son wearing balaclavas, goggles and boiler suits.

They were armed with shotguns, a knife and a handgun.

The woman's lawyer husband had a gun put to his head and the couple both had their wrists and ankles tied using cable clips, a judge at Bradford Crown Court was told.

The two intruders then covered the pair's eyes with tape.

Judge Alistair McCallum heard how, in a two hour long ordeal at their home, the woman was ordered to put on a boiler suit, the house was ransacked and the husband was then told his wife and children would be killed if he did not come up with £20,000.

The woman and her toddler daughter were then taken to an isolated workshop near Settle, North Yorkshire, where they were made to sit on chairs with a quilt over their heads during their 18 hour ordeal.

The couple told police their kidnappers used fake Irish accents and called each other Paddy and Murphy, the court heard.

The judge said the husband "thought his family was being attacked by something like IRA terrorists".

Tony Scaife, of Main Street, Long Preston, North Yorkshire, and Matthew Scaife, of Thornton Road, Bradford, both admitted conspiracy to kidnap at an earlier hearing.

The family released a statement through North Yorkshire Police in which they condemned the defendants as "evil criminals".

The statement said: "Today Anthony and Matthew Scaife begin the long years of imprisonment that their wicked and predatory crimes deserve.

"Nothing can repair the damage that these evil criminals have done to our family. Their greed for money stopped at nothing.

"They targeted and terrorised a family with three young children, then kidnapped a mother and her baby daughter at gunpoint and then threatened to kill them if their demands were not met.

"We would like to thank the North Yorkshire Police who have not only carried out a thorough investigation leading to a successful prosecution, but supported our family through these terrible few months."

Detective Superintendent Alan Carey, the senior investigating officer, added: "This case was truly terrifying for the innocent family who were targeted by Anthony and Matthew Scaife.

"To have masked and armed men burst into your home in the middle of the night is a nightmare scenario in itself.

"But to bound and gag the father, kidnap the wife and two-year-old daughter while making a threatening demand for money, is nothing short of sinister.

"Although the victims had known the Scaife family, and had previous dealings with them, they had no idea who they were dealing with at the time of the kidnap or until some days later when the offenders were subsequently arrested.

"Thankfully this type of serious premeditated crime is very rare in a safe county like North Yorkshire, and we will continue to do everything within our power to keep it that way.

"I just hope the victims can gain a measure of comfort from today's outcome, safe in the knowledge that the two perpetrators of the kidnap will remain behind bars for a significant period of time."