Kidnapper held gun to woman's head and demanded £50,000 after nightmare ordeal in which he punched her as she tried to escape

PUBLISHED: 16:38 11 September 2019

Don Weerakoon, 30, was jailed at Cambridge Crown Court today (11 September) after previously pleading guilty to kidnap, possessing an imitation firearm that was in his pocket. Picture; CAMBS POLICE

Don Weerakoon, 30, was jailed at Cambridge Crown Court today (11 September) after previously pleading guilty to kidnap, possessing an imitation firearm that was in his pocket. Picture; CAMBS POLICE

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A man who kidnapped a woman, held a gun to her head and demanded £50,000 has been jailed for ten years.

Don Weerakoon, 30, was jailed at Cambridge Crown Court today (11 September) after previously pleading guilty to kidnap, possessing an imitation firearm that was in his pocket. Picture; CAMBS POLICEDon Weerakoon, 30, was jailed at Cambridge Crown Court today (11 September) after previously pleading guilty to kidnap, possessing an imitation firearm that was in his pocket. Picture; CAMBS POLICE

Don Weerakoon, 30, was jailed at Cambridge Crown Court today (September 11) after previously pleading guilty to kidnap, possessing an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and causing a drug to be taken with intent to commit an indictable offence.

Weerakoon offered the victim, a woman in her 30s, a lift to work on February 18, leaving his house in Victoria Road, Cambridge, at about 6.30am.

He was driving his BMW 5 Series along French's Road when he locked the doors and pulled over. The pair sat in the car for three and a half hours, during which he pulled out a handgun, which was later found to be an imitation, pointed it at the woman and demanded £50,000.

Weerakoon also took the woman's mobile phone and tried to force her to log into her bank account. When she refused to pay he told the woman he wanted her asleep and forced her to swallow a tablet, which was later found to be a sleeping tablet.

Don Weerakoon, 30, was jailed at Cambridge Crown Court today (11 September) after previously pleading guilty to kidnap, possessing an imitation firearm that was in his pocket. Picture; CAMBS POLICE Don Weerakoon, 30, was jailed at Cambridge Crown Court today (11 September) after previously pleading guilty to kidnap, possessing an imitation firearm that was in his pocket. Picture; CAMBS POLICE

The woman pretended to be drowsy to wait for members of the public to walk by at which point she called for help and managed to open her door. Weerakoon leant over and began punching her in an attempt to keep her in the car before speeding off, trapping her leg in the door when he crashed into a parked car.

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Moments later he abandoned the car and made off on foot, ditching his jacket and the 'weapon' in a nearby alley.

He was later traced to a house in Birdwood Road and arrested.

Officers found the case for the weapon under his bed and duct tape and white sheets on the back seat of his car.

DC Sean Clery said: "This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim who at the time believed she was being threatened with a real firearm, especially as the blank firing pistol had been modified to look like a genuine weapon.

"Weerakoon's actions were calculated and disturbing. He made sure the victim was defenceless and on her own before trying to extort her out of tens of thousands of pounds.

"He is a dangerous man and I hope today's sentence brings some closure and comfort to the victim."

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