Dad’s terrifying kidnap ordeal

Jailed kidnapper Gary Taraldsen
Jailed kidnapper Gary Taraldsen

A DISABLED Wigan dad was subjected to a terrifying and violent kidnap ordeal by robbers masquerading as policemen.

Jurdge Gerald Clifton described it as “a long saga of intimidation, terror and humiliation of a man for many hours.”

Jailing 35-year-old Gary Taraldsen for six years and eight months, he told him: “I have no doubt you were high on drugs when you committed these shocking offences.

“To deprive any free man or woman in this country of their liberty for as long as this, in these terrifying circumstances, is a very grave matter indeed.”

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Christopher Tucker’s three-hour ordeal began while he was dozing at about 1am in his car in White Street, Pemberton, after a domestic row.

Two men knocked on his car window pretending to be CID officers. They accused him of being a paedophile, and claimed a little girl had been raped nearby.

Harry Pepper, prosecuting, said: “They told him they were taking him to a field and going to beat him. One searched his car and produced a syringe, and said he was using it on little girls to rape them.”

The terrified 43-year-old victim heard them purporting to contact the police national computer and their sergeant, and he was asked for his personal details.

Believing they were police officers he gave his details and drove off from the scene, near a pizza restaurant in Pemberton, Wigan but they flagged him down.

Mr Pepper said: “They dragged him out of his car and was put in the back of the car by the more aggressive man, Gary Taraldsen.”

While the other man drove, Taraldsen sat in the back with Mr Tucker, who had realised they were not police officers, and they told him they were going to rape his wife and children.

After 20 minutes, they stopped by a cash point in Up Holland, and demanded his cash card and pin number. Taraldsen get out and withdrew £300, but they wanted more.

Mr Tucker was punched and throttled with his wife’s scarf. He recalled them saying: “Let’s take him somewhere where we can put him in a grave.”

They marched him back to the car and said he would not be hurt if they got £3,000. He explained there was only two pence in the account, and after they checked this and found it was true, they demanded to know the way to the M6.

He refused and pushed Taraldsen, banging his head on the window, and then got out of the car and reached in and grabbed the ignition keys.

He then tried to run off, but Mr Tucker, who uses crutches, could not get far.

They drove off in his car and a woman, who had heard him shouting for help and saw him being punched to the face and head, came out and said she had alerted the police.

At about 3am, the vehicle crashed into a garden wall and gable end of a bungalow in Robin Park Road, just a few hundred yards from Wigan police headquarters. Taraldsen’s DNA was found in the car.

Mr Pepper said that fortunately Mr Tucker’s injuries were relatively minor, but he had been left psychologically traumatised and he had to take time off from his IT job.

Taraldsen, of Elton House, Norley, pleaded guilty to robbery, kidnapping, aggravated vehicle-taking, all on June 1, and being in breach of a conditional discharge of possessing cocaine and amphetamine.

David Lacide, defending, said that Taraldsen had never met the other man, who has not been apprehended, before that night, and he had just gone along with the enterprise after taking a large amount of drink and drugs.

But after the hearing Det Con Kevin Telford from Wigan CID said: “The victim is in poor health and this incident has understandably affected him deeply.

“Taraldsen took advantage of his victim’s vulnerability and put him through a terrifying ordeal for his own selfish gain.”