TWO businessmen were today beginning seven-year jail sentences each after a former stockbroker was subjected to a kidnap ordeal in a bid to force him to pay up over a debt.
The victim was targeted in an attempted extortion after he had negotiated to buy a company from former bank manager Steven Green but the money had not yet been paid.
Green, 43, of Kirkliston, and his co-accused Alan D’Ambrosio, 51, of Cramond, took part in a plot to abduct the man following a business meeting at a farm steading in West Lothian.
Lord Uist told them it was a “deplorable” incident of criminality and lawlessness. He said: “You were both convicted by the jury of a charge containing the crimes of assault, robbery, abduction and attempted extortion.
“The victim was assaulted, robbed and kidnapped in the car park after he left a meeting. He was struck with a blunt weapon between 30 and 40 times on the head, neck, shoulders and arms and bundled into the back of a van bearing false number plates.”
Lord Uist said that the victim had been injured in the assault and was left with scars on his head and legs. The judge said it was clear that Green was the instigator of the attack having brought the victim to the scene and that D’Ambrosio was one of those involved. He said neither had shown shame or remorse.
The 55-year-old victim was beaten up, trussed and hooded and forced into a van. He was threatened with violence if money was not paid to Green.
Green, who ran venture capital firm Pentland Capital and held an interest in Glencairn Risk Solutions, which was co-owned by D’Ambrosio, had denied assaulting, abducting and attempting to extort money from the victim on April 25 in 2014 at West Philpstoun Steadings, Philpstoun.
But the pair were convicted of committing the crime while acting with others unknown by a jury last month. The victim told the court that he had turned up for a morning meeting with Green at a nearby garden centre, but it was closed and he was invited back to his office at the farm. He updated him on discussions he had held during a business trip to the Isle of Man.
He said: “When we finished he shook my hand.” The former stockbroker, who worked in the financial sector, had been planning an £800,000 purchase of a bridging loan firm from Green. He was making his way back to his vehicle when he was attacked.
Green, of Buie Rigg, had denied any involvement in the abduction and assault. He said the prospective purchaser was “broke”, but added: “There was no reason for me to be aggrieved. By February I had another buyer.”
D’Ambrosio, formerly of Brighouse Park Cross, also denied being involved in the assault at the car park at the steading and the extortion bid. He claimed that prior to police questioning he did not know anything about the ongoing financial transaction between Green and the former stockbroker.”
Defence counsel Keith Stewart QC, for Green, said a series of testimonials produced on his behalf were “remarkable” and reflected his conduct in business, family life, his faith and the help he had given others. Matt Jackson, defence counsel for D’Ambrosio, said he had previously been “a very successful businessman” who had enjoyed “significant success at times”.