Man who kidnapped former royal aide sentenced to 10 years

A 21-year-old man who was involved in the “shocking” carjacking and kidnapping of a former royal aide, was sentenced to ten years imprisonment at Kingston Crown Court today (16 March).

<--break->“>Arron Miller, of Eccles Road, Battersea, pleaded guilty to kidnapping Niall Hall, 50, at 11:20pm on February 1 last year.  </p>

<p>Niall Hall, 50, a former aide to the Queen Mother, was ambushed, assaulted and abducted to a place of torture by a gang of three men.</p>

<p>The victim, who acted as an aide to the Queen Mother during the 1980s, today said: “I am relieved and pleased that some very dangerous people have been removed from the streets.”</p>

<p>The father-of-three was parking his Land Rover Freelander when he was beaten to the ground, held at knife point, and robbed of both his watch and wallet.</p>

<p>He was then manhandled into the boot of his own vehicle and driven away to a lock-in where he was physically abused by the three men including Martin Dias, 29 and Derwin Ellis, 21.</p>

<p>Mr Hall was driven to a lock-up garage on Surry Lane estate, South West London, where he was forced to strip before knives were run across his naked skin including “his face and head.”  </p>

<p>Whilst Mr Hall was held captive, Mr Miller and the other members of the gang threatened him with a mini-machete and demanded his bank pin numbers.</p>

<p>Mr Hall’s ordeal only finished once he was driven to Cheyne Walk in Chelsea and managed to attract the attention of some passing cyclists.</p>

<p>He was taken to hospital to be treated for his serious head injuries, which included bleeding in the brain, a fractured left eye socket, a broken tooth and cuts and swellings to his face.</p>

<p>An operation was required to restructure the eye socket that was so badly damaged during his abduction.</p>

<p>Mr Hall, who spent two years as an equerry at Clarence House, believed that “his time was up” and that the assailants would eventually kill him.</p>

<p>Judge Fergus Mitchell commented on the serious psychological damage that arises from this type of crime and commended Mr Hall for his apparent “strong character”.</p>

<p>He said: “It is very rare that a person going about their own business is abducted off the street and taken to a place of torture,” and added that such a crime required a “degree of pre-planning.”</p>

<p>The court heard how the defendant Mr Miller was involved in “the shocking crime from start to finish” but also how because of his young age he “found himself in way, way over his head.”</p>

<p>The defence argued that, “crime has absolutely lost its glamour” for Mr Miller since the kidnapping, and spoke of how his mother has installed a panic alarm, which has greatly grieved her convicted son.</p>

<p>The judge told the court that he believed Mr Miller to be “under threat from his co-defendants” and that he had “showed fortitude to plead guilty” when his “co-defendants were still trying to escape responsibility.”</p>

<p>The judge issued him with a sentence of ten years imprisonment for kidnap and robbery.</p>

<p>Mr Miller has 11 previous convictions of “more minor matter” and has already spent one year in custody following his arrest on March 4 last year.</p>

<p>Judge Mitchell said: “I can see no reason why that period should not serve towards his sentence.</p>

<p>“Perhaps you will appreciate the lessening of this sentence in light of the seriousness of the crime.” </p>

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