A corrupt West Midlands Police officer who disgraced his force by helping kidnap and torture a businessman has been jailed for five years.
Pc Colin Hester was part of a gang which subjected Thomas Scragg to a six-hour ordeal in which his face was slashed to the bone with a machete.
Following a ransom demand, Mr Scragg arranged for a business partner to hand over #72,000 to Hester in the car park of Little Park Street Police station in Coventry, where the officer was based, to secure his release.
Mr Scragg, from Wolverhampton, had gone for a meeting at the Prince William Henry pub in Foleshill, Coventry, in May last year when he was bound, bundled into a windowless room and tortured.
Hester (36) had previously been found guilty of a charge of blackmail and admitted two charges of mis-conduct in a public office.
Sentencing him at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday, Judge Philip Gregory said it was a "truly horrific" crime for a police officer to be involved in and that he had acted with "arrogance and contempt" towards his own force.
Two others who were found guilty of charges of wounding, false imprisonment and blackmail were given indeterminate sentences of imprisonment for public protection last month.
The court heard how before the blackmail plot Hester had also gained access to the police national computer and had passed on information about cars to known criminals.
Richard Germain, defending, said: "This is a stupid man rather than a wicked man, who has let himself down and let the police force he served down."
He said Hester had not received any financial gain and that the offences were committed because of his friendship with the criminals involved.
Afterwards, Superintendent Philip Ball condemned Hester as a "scourge on the good and honest people who work day-in and dayout for West Midlands Police. He is a bad apple".