Man and woman jailed after Rhyl victim was kidnapped and beaten up


Staff reporter (Rhyl Journal)

A RHYL man was kidnapped and taken to a Liverpool park where he was stripped and beaten up over a drugs debt.

He was later found dazed and naked in a Liverpool street.

This week the man who kidnapped him and tried to break his leg – Anthony Staff – was jailed for ten years.

The sentence will run concurrently to a 40 month prison sentence Staff, aged 24, of New Street, Wallasey, received last week at Liverpool Crown Court for assisting an offender in a murder case.

In October, Staff travelled to Rhyl, in a car driven by his partner Joanne Schless, aged 24, and kidnapped heroin and cocaine addict Barnaby Clegg, over an unpaid drugs debt.

Staff entered his flat on Warren Road, attacked him and marched him to the waiting car and returned to Liverpool.

He was taken in the dark to a park where Staff and three unidentified men stripped him, punched, kicked and stamped on him.

At one stage they tried to break his leg.

The victim was left semi-conscious and was found wandering a local street before being taken by ambulance to hospital, explained prosecuting barrister Simon Mills.

Staff was convicted of kidnapping, assault and attempting to inflict GBH with intent.
Schless, a carer who had never been in any trouble before, of Churchmeadow Close in Wallasey, was convicted of kidnap and received 21 months.

Both had denied the offences but were convicted after trial – which could not be publicly reported at the time because of impending proceedings in Liverpool.

Judge Philip Hughes said that Staff had told Clegg that he was taking him to see “the main man” of a gang in Liverpool to sort the debt out.

In the Liverpool park he was “punched, kicked and kneed to the ground” where they then stamped on his face and chest, the judge said.

At one stage Staff grabbed his leg and was screaming at the others to “snap” it.
One of the others stood on his knee cap.

Staff had previous convictions for more than 80 offences including GBH when he attacked someone with a hammer and two convictions for prison mutiny.

The judge said Schless was not involved in the violence but had provided the transport knowing what would happen.

Mr Clegg later told police how the attackers “beat seven bells” out him and he was left with bruising and swelling to his face and body and a broken nose.

Paul Wood, for Staff, said it was not a hostage situation with demands for money – with Mr Clegg given a mobile phone on the journey to Liverpool to see if friends could come up with cash to pay the debt.
Matthew Dunford, for Schless, said she was a young lady of impeccable character and she aware of the great shame she had brought upon her family.

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