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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Man admits threats to kill charge after late deal struck by lawyers

Two of the men accused of kidnapping a Carlisle man have been freed from court, while a third admitted threatening to kill him.

Luke Miller, 20, and Christopher James Harris and Malcolm Jones, both 26, had all previously denied kidnapping Paul Hudson from his home in Lediard Avenue, Currock.

They appeared before Judge Peter Hughes QC at the city’s crown court to stand trial.

However, an 11th-hour deal by the prosecution and defence halted proceedings.

Harris, of New Ferry Road, Wirral, Merseyside, admitted a charge of threatening to kill, in accordance with a basis of plea agreed between the two barristers.

Prosecutor Wayne Jackson said there were many “unusual features” to the case which had led to the prosecution accepting the basis of plea.

The court heard that Harris had been staying with Mr Hudson and his partner Emma Henderson two days prior to the incident.

The defendant had travelled from Liverpool to Carlisle with Mr Miller and Mr Jones on the night in question, to collect some of his belongings.

Mr Hudson then agreed to go with the three men to Birkenhead to collect a parcel. Harris says he had no idea what was in the parcel. At Birkenhead an argument broke out between Harris and the victim, in which Mr Hudson was punched.

Mr Jackson added: “After the incident when Mr Hudson was punched and threatened, he ran off and made his way to a telephone kiosk and made a 999 call to the police.”

The prosecutor said that any suggestion of a weapon – originally described as a “2ft machete” which was kept down Mr Harris’s trousers – simply did not make sense.

Mr Jackson said there was a background of drugs to the case, with Mr Hudson stating that he had been taken to Liverpool because of a drug debt.

The kidnapping charge against both Mr Jones,of Queens Road, Birkenhead, and Mr Miller, of Baytree Road, Rock Ferry, Birkenhead, was ordered to lie on file and the pair were released from court.

Harris had been recalled to prison as a result of the charges, and so would remain in custody until he is sentenced by Judge Hughes on June 11.

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