Motorcycle thief escapes vigilante justice

Group feel the force of the law after trying to take it into their own hands

A GROUP of four men were charged with attempted kidnap when they confronted a suspected motorcycle thief.

After his son's motorcycle was stolen, John McGough 50, from Sunnybrow, Sunderland arranged to meet a 19-year old man - who was known to be a habitual receiver of stolen motorbikes - under the pretence that there was another stolen motorcycle on offer. 

The teenager turned up at the Esso petrol station, where Mr McGough and two other friends accosted the suspected thief and wrestled him to the ground. The group contacted the police, who arrested the trio and their informant and charged them with attempted kidnap.

The suspected thief was arrested and interviewed, but the motorcycle was never recovered. He then failed to appear in court as the main prosecution witness, the men accused of kidnapping him denied the charge.

The prosecution didn't offer any evidence on the attempted kidnap charge and formal not guilty verdicts were recorded on all four. However, one of the men in the group, 21-year old Paul Laing admitted to a charge of affray and was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for a year and ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work.