A FORMER Olympic boxing hopeful who kidnapped a “business associate” over an alleged debt and threatened him with a samurai sword has been sent to jail.
Fundo Mhura, 29, also threatened his handcuffed victim with a dirty hypodermic syringe and denied him food and water for more than 24 hours.
Ricardo Cerdan was so terrified he asked for the last rites and offered to hang himself using ropes in a room used as a gym in Mhura’s West Lothian home.
Jailing him for six years and five months at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday, judge Lord Uist told Mhura: “On any view this was shockingly lawless conduct of a serious nature which cannot be tolerated in a civilised society. It occurred against a background of criminality and involved an element of deliberate cruelty.”
Spaniard Mr Cerdan is still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, the court heard.His ordeal ended when he managed to free himself from gaffer tape binding his legs, using the sword which Mhura had left on the floor. He then jumped out of the living room window into the snowy garden while still handcuffed.
Mr Cerdan, who cut his head in the fall, pleaded for help from a postman and two council workers gritting the street.
“Call the police, I’ve been kidnapped,” he shouted through tape which still partly gagged his mouth.
Mhura, of Kaimes Crescent, Kirknewton, admitted abduction, assault and robbing Mr Cerdan of £3000.
Advocate depute Andrew Brown QC, prosecuting, said the relationship between Mr Cerdan and Mhura was not entirely clear but they had both been involved as business associates with a Londoner named Saunders.
Mr Saunders thought Mr Cerdan had ripped him off and asked Mhura to help recover the money, running into tens of thousands of pounds. The court heard how Mr Cerdan travelled from London to Edinburgh by train and was taken to Kirknewton by two friends of Mhura on January 20.
In the house in Kaimes Crescent they began talking about Mr Saunders’ money before Mhura grabbed him and handcuffed him.
Mhura then used Mr Cerdan’s phone to send a text: “I would phone you but I’m a little bit tied up right now.”
At night he was tied to a 50 kilo kettle bell weight and had to survive on a single banana and a little water. Mhura would not let him use the bathroom and gave Mr Cerdan a bottle.
Mhura insisted he had no intention of harming Mr Cerdan but Lord Uist said he showed only “superficial remorse”.
Defence advocate Kevin McCallum said that Mhura had “gone off the rails” when an eye problem forced him to withdraw from the British Olympic training squad in 2007.
Malawi-born Mhura grew up in Scotland. He joined Leith Victoria boxing club and won bronze at the 2006 European Amateur Boxing Championships.