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Kidnap & False Imprisonment

Lawyers experienced in defending allegations of kidnap and false imprisonment (Manchester & London)

Olliers has vast experience of defending serious criminal allegations, including offences of kidnap and false imprisonment. The firm’s reputation for committed and rigorous defence work means that we attract some of the heaviest and serious criminal cases in the country.

It is essential that you obtain specialist legal advice should you be under investigation for these offences. These offences can only be dealt with in the Crown Court and the consequences of a conviction are severe. The period of imprisonment imposed will be lengthy with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. 


Kidnap is an offence under common law. There are four elements to the offence of kidnap namely taking of one person by another, by force/fraud, without consent and without lawful excuse. Often the offence of kidnap will be accompanied by other offences, for example, allegations of sexual assault. There is also an additional separate offence of Child Abduction.

False imprisonment

False imprisonment is an offence under common law and is distinct from kidnap as it involves purely the unlawful detention of the victim and does not involve the carrying away of the victim.

We often see cases of false imprisonment arising in a domestic setting. Allegations of being locked in a property by a partner or a partner prohibited from leaving a vehicle for example. This offence will often be charged alongside specific assault offences or can occur within the context of coercive and controlling behaviour in a domestic setting. 

Proactive Approach

Given the penalties imposed for these offences it is even more important you seek specialist advice from as early in the investigation as possible. Often people only begin to take an active role in their defence once they have been charged however it is important to take an active approach from as early as the police investigation stage if you intend to defend these allegations. 

Engagement with the police into active lines of investigation and representations to the CPS before a charging decision is made can, in some cases, lead to a decision not to prosecute or to prosecute for an alternative lesser offence. 

Expert Representation

Our experience shows us that it is essential to take an active approach to investigations of this nature. We have access to a vast network of highly experience defence experts that can address all aspects of evidence presented. In cases such as these we are often presented with DNA analysis, fingerprint evidence or telecommunications evidence such as call data analysis and cell site data. It is vital that you instruct an expert as soon as possible to identify any flaws that may exist in the evidence presented by the prosecution and to draw out any supporting evidence for your defence. 

Kidnap Sentencing Guidelines

The allegations are indictable only and can only be dealt with in the Crown Court and lengthy sentences are often imposed. Carefully planned abductions where the victim is used as a hostage are likely to attract sentences of in excess of eight years imprisonment. The use of violence or firearms or the presence of other aggravating features will lead to much lengthier sentences.

Other factors which will be taken into account by the court when determining sentences include the vulnerability of the victim, the degree of planning involved, number of offenders or the use of a weapon. 

Recent Cases

  • 2019: R v W, Derby Crown Court  Click here to read more.

Olliers Solicitors – specialist criminal defence lawyers

Olliers provide specialist advice and representation throughout England and Wales. We are previous winners of the Manchester Legal Awards Crime Team of the Year and are ranked as a top tier criminal firm in the current editions of the Legal 500 and Chambers Directory.

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