The heir to the Bestway cash and carry fortune was the subject of ransom threats, it emerged this week. Dawood Pervez was the target for a bizarre kidnap plan hatched by British Regional Airways pilot Peter Shadwell. Dawood is the son of Bestway chairman Sir Anwar Pervez, listed in the Sunday Times Rich list as the 187th most wealthy man in Britain. A jury at Reading Crown Court heard how Shadwell ­ once the UK's youngest commercial pilot ­ hatched the plan due to mounting debts. Shadwell, who pleaded guilty to blackmail, said he paid his co-defendant, private detective David James, £50,000 to hire people to kidnap Pervez. But the jury heard that the kidnap never took place. The prosecution alleged that James, who denied any involvement, had embraced the plan but had not been in touch with anyone to kidnap Pervez. Barnaby James, prosecuting, said: "It may well be this was just a callous excuse to rip off Shadwell." In May last year, Shadwell sent six ransom letters to Sir Anwar Pervez demanding £1m. Shadwell was arrested after collecting a briefcase planted by the police. Peter Nightingale, defending, told the court that Shadwell had been in severe distress and wasn't thinking intelligently. He said: "There was, indeed, no kidnapping and it would seem plain there never would be." Shadwell was found guilty and sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. James, who was cleared of any involvement in the crime on the orders of the judge, told the court Shadwell had paid him £50,000 to follow Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson and BA chief executive Bob Ayling before targeting the Pervez family. {{NEWS }}