Lapdancers and their manager Charlotte Devaney cleared of kidnap

A pair of brothers were also cleared of kidnapping businessman Curtis Woodman

Three lapdancers and their manager have been cleared of kidnapping a club boss who failed to pay them £42,000 in wages.

Miss Devaney, lapdancers Mandy Cool, Stephanie Pye, Rachel Goodchild, as well as brothers Alex and Robert Morris, were accused of kidnapping businessman Curtis Woodman in September 2012.

Speaking on behalf of the women whom she hired, DJ and producer Charlotte Devaney said they were pleased by the verdict following the three-and-a-half week trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Miss Devaney said: “We are now looking forward to getting on with our lives now.”

Robert Morris, a professional Muay Thai fighter, celebrated his acquittal by flashing his “lucky” “Will Smith for President” t-shirt outside the court room, an apparent reference to comments made by Mr Woodman comparing Mr Morris to the Hollywood actor.

The court heard that in March 2012, Miss Devaney had recruited 60 lapdancers to work for Mr Woodman at his pop-up Embassy Club nightclub during the Cheltenham Festival.

Miss Devaney claims 19 of the women remain unpaid.

Authorities closed the nightclub in Cheltenham on its third night because the dancers stripped off, despite rules ordering them to wear nipple tassels and bikinis.

Following the closure, Mr Woodman refused to pay Miss Devaney and the other women more than £42,000 in wages that they had earned during the club’s first two nights.

The court heard the £42,000 sum related to money from one customer, named only as “Steve” in court, who spent six hours with lapdancers at the club.

Steve, who had won £50,000 at the races that day, spent £700 on drinks and racked up his bill drinking and singing Rod Stewart songs with the women.

But the following morning, he contacted his credit card company complaining that the bill was fraudulent. An investigation was launched - freezing the money for 120 days.

Police later decided the money had been legitimately spent and it was transferred to Mr Woodman, who failed to pass it on to the women who had earned it.

Jockeys ride horses at the Cheltenham festival in 2013, where the pop-up nightclub was hosted in 2012. Jockeys ride horses at the Cheltenham festival in 2013, where the pop-up nightclub was hosted in 2012.
Mr Woodman told the jury this was because the dancers had breached their contracts by not wearing clothes, leading to the club being closed on its third night.

After the women repeatedly asked for the money over a six-month period, Miss Devaney, the three dancers, and the Morris brothers, allegedly drove to Mr Woodman's work premises in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, to confront him.

Mr Woodman claimed the women surrounded him and bundled him into a BMW where he was threatened with a knife and assaulted.

He insisted that during the alleged two-hour incident in September 2012, he was robbed of £60 and his £4,650 Breitling Skyland Avenger watch, and was forced to transfer £4,800 to Miss Devaney's bank account.

But the jury women rejected Mr Woodman's account, following two days of deliberations.

Miss Devaney, giving evidence, said Mr Woodman concocted the kidnap story to avoid paying his debts.

The four women and the brothers were cleared of a charge of kidnapping Mr Woodman.

Robert Morris was cleared of robbing him of £60.

Alex Morris, who did not attend court to hear the verdict, was convicted of robbing Mr Woodman of the Breitling watch and £60 after a custody officer discovered the watch in his anus two days after his arrest.

Civil proceedings will now take place against Mr Woodman for the disputed £42,000 wages.

Alex Morris will be sentenced on February 10.

Additional reporting by PA

 

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principle Geotechnical Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable