YOUTHS who kidnapped a teenager in the street were behaving like ‘plastic gangsters’, a court heard.

Callum Armstrong was grabbed and bundled into a car by Shoaib Ishaq, Mohammed Aslam and Manshah Ali before being taken on a three-mile journey.

Bolton Crown Court heard how the kidnappers, one of whom is an aspiring boxer hoping to compete in the 2020 Olympics, believed 19-year-old Mr Armstrong had been involved in robbing from taxi drivers.

But Judge Graeme Smith told them: “You did what should never be done in that you set out to take the law into your own hands.”

Christopher Beckwith, prosecuting, told how, on October 20 at 3pm, Mr Armstrong had gone to the Pound Plus store in Chorley Old Road to buy toiletries.

But near the junction of Bedford Street and Back Russell Street, Heaton was approached by a group of youths who bundled him into a Peugeot car. The car was driven for about 15 minutes after which Mr Armstrong was set free.

Mr Beckwith told the court that Mr Armstrong was not physically harmed but that, during the journey ‘he honestly thought he would be injured’. And as they left him, one of the gang told their victim; “Keep your mouth shut, don’t say owt to anyone.”

However, at the start of the kidnapping, a student had been looking out of his Bedford Street flat and spotted a man being pushed towards a car.

He took a short video on his phone, noted the registration number and phoned police, who arrested 18-year-old Ishaq, 20-year-old trainee electrical engineer Aslam and 21-year-old civil engineering university student Ali, shortly afterwards.

“Ali said, in his words, that it [the kidnapping] was a stupid mistake and they had acted like plastic gangsters,” said Mr Beckwith.

Ishaq, who is currently training as a boxer, and Ali, both of Russell Street and Aslam, of Mornington Road, all Heaton, pleaded guilty to kidnap.

The court heard all three were of previous good character and had brought shame on themselves and their families. Judge Smith sentenced each of them to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months, ordered them each to complete 160 hours unpaid work and pay £185 prosecution costs.