A failed businessman who staged his own kidnapping in a desperate bid to extort thousands of pounds from his own family has been jailed.
Kabir Idris, 27, of Canfield Road in Woodford Green, hatched the blackmail plot after running up a £14,000 debt with a gang of criminals.
The owner of a carpet cleaning business convinced his friends Daniel Manuel, 26, of Rowney Wood, Sawbridgeworth, and Jermaine Robinson, 27, of Stondon Road, Ongar, to help him stage the fake kidnapping.
On June 24, the trio made a series of menacing phone calls to Idris's family in Ilford claiming his life was in danger and demanding a £14,000 ransom fee.
His terrified relatives, who are said to have since disowned him, contacted police immediately and two days later, officers from the Metropolitan Kidnap Squad caught Idris walking along the embankment in central London.
Southwark Crown Court heard how Idris was in serious trouble and had been repeatedly targeted by thugs.
Prosecutor Tim Clark said in October 2012 Idris was dumped outside Whipps Cross Hospital and found with burns, stabs wound and bruises.
Less than two weeks before the foiled kidnap plot, four masked theives had smashed their way into his relatives Ilford property in a bid to retrive the money.
Sentencing Idris, Judge John Price said: "You became indebted to a group of deeply unpleasant people who for whatever reason you have failed to report to police, presumably for fear of your safety.
"You were so desperate, you decided the only way you could repay that debt was to bring in two friends, Robinson and Manuel, and that is a very series part of the case against you.
"Your family thought you had been captured for at least 48 hours and they thought you were in danger, but it was all a set up."
Idris, Manual and Robinson all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to blackmail.
Anu Omideyi, defending Idris, said his client's carpet cleaning business folded due to being 'financially unviable' and the qualified mechanic later found work 'fixing up cars'.
"He accepts he is at the heart of this matter and for that he is extremely sorry.
"The relationship between him and his family is non-existent and that causes him great concern.
"He still remains quite fearful. The pressure was present and it was real. He committed this offence in desperation," said Ms Omideyi.
Idris, who showed no emotion as he was led to the cells, was jailed for 18 months at Southwark Crown Court on January 17.
Manuel and Robinson were each handed a 9 month suspended prison sentence, ordered to complete 250 hours unpaid work and pay costs of £600.