Willesden kidnapper caught with facebook

Brazilian gets nine years for kidnap and burglary after terrorising victim

A VICIOUS kidnapper was sentenced to nine years in prison after his picture was found on social networking site Facebook.

William Sproule, a Brazilian national, terrorized his victim in a warehouse and burgled his home before releasing him and then attempted to extort money.

Police arrested Sproule after he arranged to meet the victim at Willesden Junction. After being notified, detectives texted plain colleagues near the station his picture who then nabbed him.

The victim, who spoke no English, was kidnapped by two large men outside the Queensbury pub, in Walm Lane, Willesden, at 8.30pm on July 30, 2010.


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He believed he was being taken to a cash-in-hand catering job.

However, after being dropped off at a warehouse he was beaten, placed in a freezer chest, had a cigarette stubbed out on his forehead and hooded.

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Sproule then arrived, who the victim had known for three months by the name of Marcio, and took the victim’s bank card, house keys and pin number saying he owed him money.

He then threatened to cut-off a finger for every digit of his pin number that was incorrect.

After attempting to withdraw cash from an ATM, Sproule went to his house where he stole a number of items in front of his shocked wife and brother-in-law.

The victim was released shortly after and told he must pay �1,000 a week to the Brazilian.

However he managed to track down a picture of the thug on the Brazilian version of Facebook and showed the police.

When Sproule demanded the victim, who was from Haringey, meet him at Willesden Junction, on August 11, he alerted the detectives.

Detective Sergeant Hale, who was leading the investigation, then took a picture of the image with his phone and sent it to officers nearby who spotted and arrested Sproule.

Sproule denied he knew the victim but was convicted through witness testimony and identification at Harrow Crown Court on Tuesday, January 11.

DS Hale, from Brent Priority Crime Unit, said: “The victim and his family have been truly distressed by these horrific offences and I am relieved that they had sufficient confidence in the Metropolitan Police and the British justice system to report these terrifying series of events.

“It is only through the bravery of the victim’s and the excellent detective work by Temporary Detective Constable Alecia Williams that he was identified, arrested and charged.

“The sentence sends a strong message to anyone involved in organised crime.”

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