A WOMAN has been spared jail after she gave a false alibi for her boyfriend who helped kidnap a man, shoved a shotgun in his mouth and dumped him in a freezing pond.
Suzanne Reynolds, 32, of Black Diamond Park, Newtown, Chester, lied to police to protect Kieran Salkeld, who was jailed for 12 years in April along with two accomplices.
She claimed 22-year-old Salkeld had been with her on the night of October 11, 2013 – but forensic evidence later emerged that tied him to the vicious assault on Chester man Marc Williams, 24.
His DNA was found on a shotgun, the muzzle of which also bore traces of the victim’s saliva.
The three men had wrongly believed Mr Williams had come into money and were arrested when their brutal kidnap and robbery plan began to unravel and police hunted them down.
Sentencing Reynolds at Chester Crown Court yesterday, the Recorder of Chester, Judge Elgan Edwards, accepted she felt intimidated and her life had been “taken over” by the brief relationship with Salkeld, of Llwyn Alun, Hope.
He handed her a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and warned her against falling in with the wrong crowd in future.
The judge told her: “It’s a tragedy for you and your family, who are loving and supportive, to see you in the dock of a crown court facing a very serious charge.
“Perverting the course of justice is an extremely serious charge.
“This chance I’m giving you is a once only chance. Don't get involved in this kind of thing, or with this kind of person, again.”
At previous hearings the court was told Mr Williams was eating pizza at his Huntington, Chester, home when three men wearing balaclavas burst through his patio doors with a sledgehammer. They sprayed him with CS gas, blasted him with a stun gun, beat him unconscious and tied him up before driving to a secluded spot on Acres Lane, Upton, near Chester Zoo.
Mr Williams was dumped into a freezing cold pond and repeatedly beaten as the three men demanded he give up the location of his money. They dropped a boulder onto his leg, causing a fracture, and forced a shotgun into his mouth.
Luke Huston, 24, of Allington Place, Handbridge, Chester and Stevan Sanders, 25, of no fixed home, went to the home of Mr Williams’ mother in Hoole, Chester, demanding to know where the cash was kept.
Mr Williams was left tied up at the pond but managed to crawl to the road where a taxi driver found him soaking wet, covered in blood and almost unrecognisable because of the beating he had endured.
Police were called and the men were later found and arrested.
See full story in the Chester Leader