A MASKED knifeman abducted a boy then put a knife to his throat and tied him up before posting his victim’s terrifying ordeal on social media.

The teenager was crying and asking John Lee, who was armed with a “machete-type” weapon, if he was about to kill him.

The terrified complainant was taken to waste ground in Ebbw Vale and his nightmare filmed by an unknown accomplice and uploaded onto Snapchat.

Prosecutor Paul Hewitt told Cardiff Crown Court: “The victim was very distressed and he was crying.


“The complainant was asking the defendant, ‘Are you going to kill me?’

“There was no immediate answer.

“The victim’s hands and feet had been tied with tape and then duct tape put over his mouth.

“He was very frightened. He’d had a kitchen knife held to his throat and had been told to sit before his legs and hands were tied.

“The victim was then picked up and thrown into a thorn bush.

“He told the police he thought he was going to die.”

The boy was abandoned by the defendant and his partner in crime before he was able to break free from his bonds.

Mr Hewitt said Lee told detectives after his arrest he thought the teenager, who cannot be named because he is under 18, betrayed him over a bag of drugs.

The prosecutor added: “He thought he had been double crossed.

“The defendant said he wanted to leave a message, a warning that you don’t rob drug dealers.

“He said he wanted to intimidate and not kill anyone. He said he felt like a timebomb.”

Lee, 20, formerly of Newport, now of Tresardens Hill, St Day, near Redruth, Cornwall, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and having a knife in public on February 2.

He also admitted separate offences of aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving in March after he stole a Ford Fiesta car in Ebbw Vale a month later.

Lee, the court heard, drove the car at 100mph in Worcester in the early on the wrong side of the road with the headlights off before two of tyres were blown out.

The defendant has eight previous convictions for 21 offences, including a robbery and aggravated burglary.

The victim of the robbery was a 16-year-old boy at a McDonald’s in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, and Lee was sent to a young offender institution for 32 months for that offence.

Jeffrey Jones, representing the defendant, said his client came from a Romani background and had been affected by the loss of his grandfather.

His barrister said Lee’s offending in the abduction had been down to “bluster, bravado and immaturity”.

Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke told the defendant: “It is clear that your victim was absolutely terrified and was begging for his life.”

Lee was handed a six-year custodial sentence.