Man Jailed for Kidnapping Housemate at Gunpoint, Drugging Her, in Botched Hostage Attempt

A man who drugged his housemate and threatened her with a fake handgun after accusing her of stealing money from him has been jailed.

Don Weerakoon, 30, was sentenced to 10 years in jail after he admitted to carrying out a botched hostage attempt against his victim in Cambridge, U.K., on February 18.

Weerakoon had offered his housemate Isabel Fuentes Barriga a lift to work on the morning in question. After he started driving, he locked the car doors and pulled over.

The defendant became hostile after wrongly suspecting Barriga and her partner of stealing "significant sums of money" from him, reports the BBC.

The pair then sat in the car for more than three and a half hours, during which time Weerakoon pulled out an imitation handgun and demanded £50,000 ($61,645) from her.

Weerakoon also took Barriga's phone off her and tried to force her to log into her online banking to send the money over to him that way. After she refused, Weerakoon told her that he "wanted her asleep" and forced her to swallow a sleeping pill.

Don Weerakoon
Don Weerakoon has been jailed for 10 years after admitting the botched hostage attempt. Cambridgeshire Police

Barriga then pretended to act drowsy until members of the public walked past the vehicle, at which point she called for help and managed to open the car door.

The defendant then leaned over and started punching his housemate in an attempt to stop her from escaping before speeding off. He trapped Barriga's leg in the door after he crashed into a parked car.

Weerakoon then fled the scene on foot, disposing of his jacket and the replica gun in a nearby alley.

Police later recovered the case for the fake handgun under his bed, as well as duct tape and white sheets on the back seat of his car.

After previously pleading guilty to kidnap, possessing an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and causing a drug to be taken with intent to commit an indictable offence, Weerakoon was sentenced to 10 years in jail at Cambridge Crown Court on September 11.

"This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim who at the time believed she was being threatened with a real firearm, especially as the blank firing pistol had been modified to look like a genuine weapon," Detective Constable Sean Clery, of Cambridgeshire Police, said in a statement.

"Weerakoon's actions were calculated and disturbing. He made sure the victim was defenseless and on her own before trying to extort her out of tens of thousands of pounds.

"He is a dangerous man and I hope today's sentence brings some closure and comfort to the victim."