A VIOLENT gang who held a Frodsham couple hostage for a nightmarish 48 hours at their luxury Spanish villa have been jailed.
Peter and Pat Yarwood of Portland Place, Helsby, were playing cards in their £300,000 villa in the Costa Blanca when gunmen burst in, kidnapped Mrs Yarwood and forced her husband to a nearby bank to withdraw hundreds of thousands of pounds.
This week, two of the gang were each sentenced to eight years and six months in jail for armed robbery and kidnap in a plea bargain deal at a court in Alicante.
A third man was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment after being convicted as an accomplice.
Peter, 72, who worked at BICC, said: “We are pleased with the result.”
A further two men involved in the kidnap are still on the run.
The Helsby pair endured the terrifying 48-hour ordeal while on holiday in Moraira on Spain’s southeast coast in April 2004.
The court heard how the gang threatened them with pistols and a knife and said they would be killed unless they paid £400,000.
Mrs Yarwood, 74, who ran The Poplars guest house on Chester Road for 27 years, said at the time: “They terrorised us all night, pointing the guns at us and cocking them. When Peter tried to escape out of the back door, they punched him in the face and kicked him. I was convinced we were going to die.”
The gang took Mrs Yarwood to a derelict farmhouse an hour’s drive away, punching her in the back and kicking her in the ribs when she tried to escape.
At gunpoint they ordered Peter to drive to a Barclays Bank and withdraw the money.
He said: “I wrote a note on the back of a cheque saying ‘please give me the money because someone has kidnapped my wife’.”
Staff at the bank called the police and stalled the gang while a kidnap response unit was scrambled from Madrid, along with a helicopter.
The gang became suspicious of the delay and fled without the money, leaving Mrs Yarwood in a field.