TWO ex-soldiers have been jailed over the violent kidnap of a British millionaire “betrayed” by his Pretty Woman-style call girl.
Ex-British Army pair Benjamin Norman Stridgeon and Karl John Boorman were caged for nine years each after admitting to taking part in a robbery and extortion plot hatched by the wealthy businessman’s high-class Bulgarian escort.
Sex worker Mima Petrova Ivanova was also handed the same prison sentence after pleading guilty in a plea bargain deal ahead of the trio’s one-day trial on Friday at a court in the Majorcan capital Palma.
An indictment submitted before the hearing by Jaime Campaner, a private prosecutor acting for the unnamed financial services mogul, accused the British pair of threatening to “debone him like a fish” unless he agreed to transfer the Bulgarian prostitute nearly £200,000.
The two men had been warned they faced being jailed for more than 20 years each after their arrests if they were convicted of the crimes, including robbery with violence, extortion and unlawful detention.
They ended up getting a reduced sentence after pleading guilty to a crime of robbery with violence and another of extortion at Palma’s Audiencia Provincial Court.
Ivanova, who state prosecutors said in their indictment was on a £8,500-a-month retainer for nine-times-a-year trysts with the magnate, let them into his holiday mansion in Andratx before they terrorised him with machetes.
The businessman, who was not identified in court, is said to have reduced the sex worker’s monthly fee to just over £5,000 before his September 4, 2019 ‘ambush’.
He was admitted to A&E with a sudden and acute form of heart failure called Takotsubo syndrome after his hour-long ordeal ended and went on to transfer £115,000 to Ivanova after the intruders fled with £900 from a safe.
The elderly magnate, who has been a director of around 70 companies over the past 30 years and currently runs firms with a combined turnover of more than £200 million, was due to testify.
Trial judges were also set to hear claims Stridgeon and Boorman – who had been held on remand since their arrests on October 8, 2019 – had links to the Hells Angels.
Boorman, 33, tried to avoid extradition to Spain from the UK by claiming he was suffering PTSD caused by witnessing the deaths of close friends during three tours in Afghanistan.
Stridgeon, 38, originally from the north west of England, is understood to be a former British Army physical instructor who went on to become a bodybuilding coach and gym owner.
Ivanova, 28, who had been in a relationship with the British businessman since 2012, asked the victim to turn up the music loud before letting her accomplices into his home while he was in the bathroom.
A state prosecution indictment submitted to the trial judges said: “Both men covered their faces with Balaclavas to avoid being identified and wore gloves, boots and military armour.
“Mima Petrova Ivanova guided them towards the bathroom where they found their victim sitting naked on the toilet and took him to his bedroom by force, brandishing large military machetes.”
Hired thugs Boorman and Stridgeon showed the terrified millionaire photos of his children, ex-wife and another home abroad before threatening to kill him and his loved ones unless he handed over all the cash he had at home.
Leading Majorcan-based lawyer Mr Campaner, who was instructed to prosecute the three defendants on behalf of the Brit businessman, had been expected to claim one of the two men gave his client the choice of a “quick death” if he played ball and a “slow and painful one” if he failed to co-operate.
In his written submissions to the trial court ahead of the public hearing, he said the defendants told the wealthy Brit they had been British Army Special Forces soldiers and warned him they would “remove his spine as if he were a fish” unless he did what they told him.
The state prosecutor was demanding 14 years and six months in prison for each defendant if convicted of three crimes of aggravated robbery with violence, extortion and unlawful detention.
The private prosecutor had demanded jail sentences of 21 years for each defendant ahead of their guilty pleas if they were convicted of the same crimes, as well as additional charges including wounding and degrading treatment.
Both lawyers also sought large compensation payouts.
The two Brits and Bulgarian have been ordered to pay their victim a total of £150,000 and have been handed a 10-year restraining order which bans them from going within 500 metres of him.
The time they have already served behind bars on remand will be deducted from the prison sentences they now have to serve.