Four friends are found guilty of kidnapping British ex-public schoolboy, 26, in Italy in ransom plot

Author: Yuvi December 6, 2022


Four friends who kidnapped a British former public schoolboy in Italy and held him chained to a stepladder in a bizarre £6,000 ransom plot have been found guilty.

Sam Demilecamps, 26, was found last year after police traced his mobile phone to a dingy flat where he had been fed leftover scraps for eight days.

Officers were alerted after he texted his family in the UK and told them he was being tortured and beaten by the group, who said they would not free him unless he paid them off.

British detectives alerted counterparts in Italy and Mr Demilecamps was found in an apartment at Monte San Giusto near Ancona after they traced the signal from his phone.

Sam Demilecamps, 26, was found last year after police traced his mobile phone to a dingy flat where he had been fed leftover scraps for eight days

At a closed doors hearing in Florence, prosecutor Antonino Nastase outlined the facts of the case against Rubens Beliga Gnaga, 19, Ahemd Rajraji, 22, Dona Conte, 23, and his girlfriend Aurora Carpani, 21.

He demanded jail terms of between eight and 10 years for the gang, describing Mr Demilcamp’s ordeal as ‘horrific and traumatic’.

The group were held within hours of the call being traced and charged at a preliminary hearing last October where they opted for a fast track trial.

At that hearing Mr Demilecamps, who was educated at a £36,000 a year Lord Wandsworth College in Hampshire, told the court he had been kidnapped 200 miles away in Florence while staying at a hostel.

He said he was bundled into a van and driven to Monte San Giusto, describing his kidnap he said: ‘My captors had seen me spending lavishly. They kicked and punched me, used a taser and pepper spray, then dragged me into a car and gave me tranquilizers.

‘They drove me to Monte San Giusto. I was held underwater in a bath and beaten.

At that hearing Mr Demilecamps, who was educated at a £36,000 a year Lord Wandsworth College in Hampshire, told the court he had been kidnapped 200 miles away in Florence while staying at a hostel

At that hearing Mr Demilecamps, who was educated at a £36,000 a year Lord Wandsworth College in Hampshire, told the court he had been kidnapped 200 miles away in Florence while staying at a hostel

He added how he had sent texts to family and friends asking for them to send him money as quickly as possible but instead his divorced parents Patrick Demilcamps and Jalaleh McCall, alerted the police and the plot was foiled.

But just days later eyebrows were raised after pictures emerged of him partying with his alleged kidnappers with some claiming it may have all been part of a plot to get money from his unsuspecting family.

This was fueled after it emerged he knew all four kidnappers well after spending much of the summer of 2021 in the company of the gang.

Rajraji even had a video of Mr Demilecamps diving off rocks into a river with the group – seemingly none the worse for wear. After the day long case on Monday judge Federico Zampoli sentenced Rajraji to eight years, Conte and Gnaga five years and two months and Carpani to three years and three months.

However none of the gang will go to jail immediately and they will serve their sentences under house arrest until an automatic appeal is considered next year.

Michele Zuccaro, who represented Mr Demilecamps, told MailOnline: ‘I have spoken to Sam and he is delighted that the judicial system has found in his favor and the gang have been convicted.

‘He went through a very traumatic and shocking ordeal and is still suffering the effects now more than a year later.

It emerged that Mr Demilecamps knew all four kidnappers well after spending much of the summer of 2021 in the company of the gang

It emerged that Mr Demilecamps knew all four kidnappers well after spending much of the summer of 2021 in the company of the gang

‘The evidence presented to the court consisted of the mobile phone message between the gang which showed them planning and executing the kidnap.

‘Sam is relieved that the court believed him because the defense strategy was to suggest that this was all a plot cooked up with his help when quite clearly it wasn’t and he was all the while an innocent victim.’

Vando Scheggia, Rajraji’s lawyer, spoke for the four and told MailOnline: ‘As we have always said this was no kidnap plot and my client and the other accused all deny the charges against them.

‘They all knew each other and we have shown how they all knew each other, Mr Demilecamps boasted how wealthy he was but really he didn’t have very much. He was in the flat of his own free will and he was not tortured or beaten.

The former boarding school pupil – who describes himself as an 'adrenaline junkie' – has in the past needed emergency help for jumping off a cliff for a dare

The former boarding school pupil – who describes himself as an ‘adrenaline junkie’ – has in the past needed emergency help for jumping off a cliff for a dare

Mr Demilecamps being rescued after a friend dared him to jump into the sea from a 180ft cliff at the resort of Taormina, Sicily in 2016

Mr Demilecamps being rescued after a friend dared him to jump into the sea from a 180ft cliff at the resort of Taormina, Sicily in 2016

He had been lent money by the four and they allowed him to stay in the flat while he arranged to get them the money he owed them – that’s it, nothing more this isn’t some Mafiosi kidnap it’s very trivial.’

Mr Scheggia added: ‘Mr Demilecamps was not handcuffed to the step ladder, rather he had the others handcuff him so that when he sent pictures to his family they could see he was in distress and send the money.

‘We will be appealing this sentence and the four will be serving this initial custodial period at home as they are under house arrest.’

It is not the first time Mr Demilecamps, who lives in Brighton, who describes himself as an ‘adrenaline junkie’ has made the headlines – in 2016 he broke a vertebra after leaping 180ft into the sea from a cliff at Taormina, Sicily, for a bet.

Author: Yuvi

My name is Yuvi, I work as Sub Editor at newscinema.in

6 December, 2022, 7:14 am

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Tuesday, 6th December 2022

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