Home » News » Agencies & People » ‘Danger to public’ kidnapper of estate agent refused parole
Agencies & People

‘Danger to public’ kidnapper of estate agent refused parole

Michael Sams put Birmingham agent Stephanie Slater through a horrendous four-day ordeal before releasing her after a £175,000 ransom was paid by her employer.

Nigel Lewis
stephanie slater estate agent

Photocredit: West Midlands Police

The kidnapper of West Midlands estate agent Stephanie Slater has been refused parole and will have to spend at least another year in prison.

Michael Sams, who is now 78, was given multiple life sentences in 1993 after he was convicted of kidnapping Slater in January 1992 for four days, and also for the murder of Leeds woman Julie Dart the year before.

According to The Sun newspaper, his parole board still considers Sams to still be a danger to the public.

Slater, who worked for Birmingham estate agent Shipways at the time, attended a house viewing in Great Barr where she rendezvoused with Sams, who had booked the appointment using a pseudonym.

He then kidnapped her at knifepoint and took Slater, bound and gagged, to his workshop.

Held captive

There she was held captive within a modified wheelie bin ‘coffin’ until her employer paid a £175,000 ransom, only £25,000 of which was ever recovered.

Sams was later identified after his voicemail ransom demand was played during a CrimeWatch TV programme and his wife recognised his voice.

Barr was released from her ordeal but suffered significant mental health issues following it and did not return to estate agency,  and suffered in particular from severe anxiety about Sams one day being released.

Slater subsequently moved to the Isle of Wight where she both worked as a tourist guide and with police to help forces understand the mental and physical trauma endured by kidnap victims.

She later alleged that Sams had raped her during her captivity and went on to write a book about her torment but died in 2017 after a brief battle with cancer, aged 50.

The story of Slater’s experience had many similarities with that of Suzy Lamplugh, who is also believed that have been abducted after meeting a client at a property viewing.

June 15, 2020

What's your opinion?

Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.