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‘I prayed for death when gang members kidnapped me at gunpoint in Kent’

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Original article from Kent Live

The horrific story of a Kent woman who was kidnapped by a gang has been unveiled in a new BBC documentary, shedding light on the near-death ordeal she was put through.

Referred to as Ashley in order to protect her identity, the victim told her story to presenter Livvy Haydock, detailing the horrors she experienced.

Kidnapping is usually closely associated with organised crime, be it gangs or the drug trade – but the BBC documentary in question, 'Inside Britain's Kidnap Gangs', explained that 1 in 5 victims of kidnappings are now innocent civilians.

Read more: Chatham couple took woman into cellar and subjected her to 'vile' rape ordeal

Ashley is one of a few interviewees in the documentary, including victims and even some gang members themselves.

One gang member even boldly states he "enjoys" torturing his victims.

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Speaking to Haydock, Ashley explained how the ordeal began.

She said: "I got a phone call just to go and meet somebody – I ended up getting bundled into a car, tied up, with my hands and legs together.

Asked if she knew what was happening, she responded, "I didn't have a clue – they drove for hours, we stopped at a couple destinations.

The documentary delved into the world of criminal kidnapping gangs, and exposed some harrowing stories.

"Some people got out, others got in, and then there were weapons in the car – I knew it was a gun from the metal clinking.

"They dragged me to a secluded area, hit me with a baseball bat, made me spread my legs and hit me in my private parts and shoved a gun in my mouth."

When asked what she thought was going to happen to her, Ashley simply said: "I looked at him and prayed to the Lord that they would just pull the trigger and get it over with.

"I just wanted it done with.

"I wanted out – I was done, but they wanted me, and I belonged to them."

Ashley was interviewed by Livvy Haydock, who was visibly shocked by the story she was told.

There has been an increase in the number of kidnappings recorded in the UK over the last 10 years according to Statista, with 5,720 incidents reported in England and Wales in 2020/2021, up from 1,720 ten years ago.

Ashley narrowly survived the ordeal, despite being left for dead, and was found by a passer-by who then rushed her to hospital.

The impact of being kidnapped lingers long after escape or release, as Ashley told the BBC.

She said: "Every day my body's hurting me.

"Every day I think someone's gonna kick through my door and I have to live with that for the rest of my life."

Original Article