A ‘naked’ kidnap victim managed to escape from the boot of a car after sabotaging the vehicle a gang was holding him captive in as they drove through Edinburgh.
Emmanuel Chidubem Emmanuel, from Nigeria, was forced into the boot of a BMW 5 series saloon by four men, in front of shocked passersby, including mums on the school run.
But he managed to escape after freeing himself of his bonds and brought the car to a halt by accessing a fuse panel in the boot.
The four-man gang who had held Mr Emmanuel were all convicted of assaulting and abducting him yesterday at the end of a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
During the ordeal the victim was punched and kicked, hit with a blunt weapon, his clothing was cut and he was stripped, blindfolded and trussed up at a house in Edinburgh.
The gang then accessed his online bank account and took crash from it before putting him in the car.
He was driven through city streets before he managed to disable the vehicle of his captors by pulling out fuses and fighting with them after the boot was opened at Buckstone Road in Edinburgh on February 10 this year.
A passing social worker, Julie Arbuckle, 47, who saw the incident began sounding her horn and called police.
She said: ‘They were all kicking and punching him and trying to get him into the car. At one point the naked guy, they had got him in the car but he got out the other door.’
Ms Arbuckle said the incident was ‘frantic and shocking’ and said: ‘It did look like it was one naked victim and four other men clothed.’
She had slowed down in her car and began sounding her horn.
She told the court: ‘They just kept trying to get him in the car – in the boot, in the back, in the front.’
The 47-year-old said the victim just kept trying to get away and wriggle from their grasp, adding: ‘He looked quite injured. His whole face was swollen.’
The social worker said she shouted at the attackers to get off him because the police were coming and they began to flee the scene.
She said Mr Emmanuel came over to her car and said ‘thank you’. She told him the police were on their way.
‘He said they can’t do anything for me. I think he said “They can’t help me. They can’t do anything for me”, she said.
‘After he said that to me he went over to the car and got a bag and took some clothes out of it and started to get dressed,’ she said.
Advocate depute David Taylor asked how she would describe the man at the time of the incident apart from being naked and she replied: ‘Terrified and injured.’
Mr Emmanuel, 27, from Stevenage, in Hertfordshire, had been on the latest of a few trips he had made to Edinburgh.
He had visited a female friend and intended to go to the gym but never made it there.
The court heard that a black car was seen coming to pick him up but he said he did not remember.