FOUR men have appeared in court in connection with an alleged kidnap plot.

Christopher Michael Burton, a heavyweight boxer originally from Darlington who is known by his nickname ‘High Tower’, and fellow defendants Jonathan Lockey, Damian Ainsley Mottram and Anthony Cooper appeared at Teesside Crown Court.

It is alleged the victim was dragged from a taxi and held against his will on an industrial estate in Darlington on July 23 this year.

No charges were put to the four men and the case was adjourned and given a trial of date of October 17.

Mr Burton, 33, of Brierton Lane, Hartlepool, Mr Lockey, 25, of Bullamore Road, Northallerton and Mr Mottram, 29, of Teesway, Neasham, Darlington, were all bailed by Judge Peter Bowers.

Mr Cooper, 29, whose last address was Bamburgh Place, Darlington, was remanded into custody having appeared via a video link from HMP Durham.