A islander who was a member of a large scale crime gang has been jailed for his involvement
in the kidnap and assault of a fellow Scot in Portugal.
Lewis man Calum Macleod, 46, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He is one of four
Brits jailed after the torture of James Ross of Wick, Caithness. They were convicted
by a Portuguese court.
The men denied various charges of kidnap, assault and drug trafficking at a trial
held in Loulé in March.
Ringleader Steven Johnson, 49, of Manchester, received 25 years imprisonment - the
maximum penalty under Portuguese law. He had denied masterminding the attempted murder
William Quinn and Terrance McGurk, both from Coventry, were each jailed for eight
years while Ronnie Rose got a two and a half year sentence.
The gang was involved in large scale drug trafficking in the Algrave. Police said
they discovered two plantations with an annual estimated crop value of £3 million
during the investigation.
James Ross, a 29-year-old father-of-two, was held against his will by the group for
nearly a fortnight in 2010. He was lured to Portugal with the promise of work to
pay off a £9000 drugs debt but was abducted after landing at Faro airport.
For 13 days the gang allegedly kept Ross in a cage and mutilated him, using bolt
cutters to hack off an ear, finger and two toes. His torturers burned his genitals
with a cigarette lighter and crushed them in a metal clamp.
It is said he was beaten with a baseball bat and his hands were nailed to a slab
They plotted to murder him at a secluded reservoir at Santa Clara but he escaped
when the car crashed on the way.
Northern Constabulary had instigated a joint operation with the Portuguese police
over the case.
Detective Superintendent Kenny Anderson said: "We welcome the verdict in Portugal
today and believe the sentence handed down reflects the severity of this crime.
"This was a protracted investigation which resulted in Mr Ross fortunately being
found alive after a sustained ordeal.
"This case highlights that organised crime groups operate throughout the country,
including rural communities. This should serve as a warning to anyone who may think
about becoming involved in this type of crime."
He added: "I would like to pay tribute to the dedicated officers within the force
and the Portuguese Police who worked tirelessly over a 13 day period to recover Mr
"This was a significant inquiry which saw a large number of officers deployed both
here and in Portugal during the investigation.”