Victim leapt for his life at 40mph during terrifying abduction

The case was heard at Stirling Sheriff Court today
The case was heard at Stirling Sheriff Court today

A thug who abducted a man and threatened to stab him in the eye with a screwdriver has been told to expect a lengthy jail sentence.

Garry Kelly (26) approached his victim outside a shop in Larbert and asked him if he would buy alcohol and cigarettes for him “because he had no ID”.

James Horne (24) agreed and went into the shop and made the purchases, but when he came out Kelly said he had no money and offered Mr Horne £20 to drive him back to Clackmannanshire to get some.

Stirling Sheriff Court heard that Kelly, from Alva, directed Mr Horne to the village and told him to drive down a one-way street.

Mr Horne at first refused, but then “somewhat reluctantly” agreed, but halfway down the street Kelly told him to stop, pulled out the screwdriver, which he found in the passenger door compartment, and told Mr Horne, “Give me all your money or I’ll stab you in the eye”.

Sarah Lumsden, prosecuting, said Mr Horne was “very fearful” that if he left his car he would be seriously assaulted, so he handed over his wallet – which was empty.

Kelly then told Mr Horne to drive to a cash machine, warning him, “stick with the programme or you’ll get hurt,” and “if we see the police and you try to stop them you’ll get stabbed in the throat”.

Miss Lumsden said when they got to the cash machine, Mr Horne’s account was overdrawn, and he could not get any money, so Kelly ordered him to hand over his iPhone and drive to Cash Converters in Stirling.

Halfway there he changed his mind and ordered him to drive to a shop in Clackmannan where a man was reputed to buy phones, but he wasn’t in.

They walked back to the car and Kelly said he had “scalpels” on him, and ordered Mr Horne to drive around while he directed.

Miss Lumsden said: “The drive led to a secluded woodland park and as Mr Horne turned up the track he was incredibly frightened and thought that Kelly would kill him.”

The depute fiscal said Mr Horne then decided to escape.

She said: “He did a U-turn, took off his seat belt, accelerated to about 40 miles an hour, opened his door, and jumped out of the moving car, rolling as he hit the ground.”

The vehicle carried on and ended up in a ditch, while Mr Horne ran back down the track and saw two dog walkers. They directed him to a house where he knocked on the door.

Miss Lumsden said: “The householder found him extremely distressed, took him in and phoned the police.”

A full-scale search with police dogs was launched and Kelly was found hiding behind a wall.

Mr Horne suffered “numerous scrapes” to his arms, hands and knees as a result of jumping from the moving vehicle.

Kelly pleaded guilty to assault, robbery, and abduction. The incident happened on the afternoon of April 13 this year.

Sheriff William Gilchrist deferred sentence until August 29, remanded Kelly in custody for reports, but told him: “A lengthy custodial sentence is inevitable.”

The court heard that Kelly was a stranger to Mr Horne, who had never met him before the incident.