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Lapdancers accused of kidnapping Cheltenham club boss feared he saw them as 'ditsy strippers'

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 16, 2014

Mandy Cool, Charlotte Devaney and Rachel Goodchild are accused of kidnapping Cheltenham club boss Curtis Woodman

A GROUP of lapdancers asked two men to accompany them as they approached a Cheltenham club boss who owed them money because they feared he saw them as “ditsy strippers”, a court heard.

Stephanie Pye told police how she and the other girls went to talk to Curtis Woodman about money he had failed to pay them for entertaining racing fans during the Cheltenham Festival.

She said brothers Robert and Alexander Morris accompanied them because they feared Woodman would not take them seriously. But she told officers the situation quickly got out of hand and what was meant to be a “chat” turned into “something serious”.

The jury heard how the woman “trapped” Mr Woodman in their car before driving him to a field where he was beaten up by the Morris brothers.

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He was allegedly threatened with a knife, robbed of his £4,650 Breitling watch and forced to transfer £4,800 from his bank into Devaney’s account.

Bristol Crown Court has heard how Mr Woodman, 34, recruited girls to work temporarily at the strip club during the world-famous facing festival.

But Mr Woodman failed to obtain a full stripping licence and the club was closed by police after only a couple of days amid reports the girls were breaking the rules.

The court heard how Pye, 31, fellow lapdancers Mandy Cool, 29, and Rachel Goodchild, 24, and their agent Charlotte Devaney, 34, went looking for Mr Woodman six months after the 2012 festival.

They drove to Cheltenham when he failed to return their calls and arrived outside his workplace on an industrial estate with Robert Morris, 27, and Alexander, 23.

Pye told police: “Mandy Cool was bringing her boyfriend down with her to give the girls protection.

“We were quite aware that Curtis Woodman thought that we were ditsy strippers. We were going to go and talk to him about the money, that was all I knew about the plan.”

The jury also heard police interviews given by Charlotte Devaney and Rachel Goodchild in the days after the alleged kidnap.

They both denied kidnapping and insisted that Mr. Woodman got in their BMW at his own will.

Devaney said: “He got in the back of the car willingly along with one of the guys. At no point did he ask to get out the car or ask to be released like he had been abducted.

“He was never uncooperative. He fully admitted the fact that he owed us the money. He acted like he was remorseful and that he was going to give us the money.”

Goodchild gave a similar account in her statement: “He wasn’t threatened in any way. He got in the car without anyone forcing him to – he obviously didn’t want his colleagues to see.”

All six defendants deny charges of kidnap after Curtis Woodman claimed he was taken against his own will.

Alexander Morris also faces a theft charge, which he denies. Devaney is from London, Pye is from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, and Cool and Goodchild and the Morris brothers live in Southampton.

The trial continues.

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