An angry British father and his vigilante gang were sentenced Tuesday for kidnapping and torturing a 17-year-old they wrongly believed sent abusive text messages to the man’s daughter, The Daily Mail reported.

James McPhilbin, 50, thought his daughter, Kelly-Ann, 18, had received the messages from Sam Valentine. In McPhilbin’s quest for revenge, he and a group of family and friends kidnapped Valentine and stabbed him three times – including a stab wound to the cheek and one to the chest that punctured a lung, the Mail reported.

Officials later reported that no abusive text messages were ever sent to McPhilbin’s daughter.

McPhilbin, of Stretford, Greater Manchester, started his 16-month jail sentence Tuesday after pleading guilty to false imprisonment.

Judge Peter Lakin told the gang members they had committed a “frightening, sustained and brutal attack,” the Mail reported.

The 2006 incident happened four months after Valentine and his friends had a fight with Kelly-Ann at school. Kelly-Ann’s relatives believed she had received offensive text messages despite her denials that Valentine was to blame.

Initially following the attack, Valentine was so scared he told police he had been mugged and claimed not to know the attackers, The Mail reported. But the gang members were arrested when he later gave a statement.

The three other gang members received sentences ranging from four to seven years.

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