Petrified man sadistically tortured in Loughborough flat over £70 rent debt
A petrified man was tied to his bed, gagged and sadistically tortured with weapons, including a home-made flame thrower.
Leicester Crown Court was told the victim was beaten with a hammer and had bleach tipped over his head.
He feared he was going to be burnt alive by his two tormentors – Daniel Spong (18) and Matthew Russell (23) – who were yesterday each jailed for four years.
They admitted falsely imprisoning the man in his flat in Tuckers Road, Loughborough, and causing actual bodily harm, on the night of July 22.
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Alan Murphy, prosecuting, said the victim formerly lodged at the home of Russell's mother and had moved out three weeks earlier, owing £70 rent.
Russell was angered and recruited Spong to go with him to confront the man.
On opening his flat door, Russell punched the victim three times.
His flat was then searched and a mattress removed from a bed, to which the victim was bound by his hands and feet, with a duster stuck in his mouth.
Spong used a deodorant spray with a cigarette lighter as a flame-thrower on his feet and arms. The defendants discussed setting the bed alight before the victim was hit with a hammer on his knee, left hand and ribs.
Russell poured bleach on the bed and Spong tried to light it.
Bleach splashed into his eyes as it was poured over his head.
The 25-minute ordeal ended by chance, when a neighbour called by.
To his horror, he saw through a gap in the curtains that the victim was being held captive and raised the alarm.
Spong, of no fixed address, and Russell, of Wordsworth Road, Loughborough, realised the police were outside and quickly untied the victim.
When officers forced their way in they found the defendants sitting on the sofa as if nothing had happened.
The injured victim went to hospital suffering from multiple bruising, cuts, swelling, burn marks and sore eyes from the bleach.
Sentencing, Judge Simon Hammond said: "It was sadistic torture. It was pitiless, brutal and merciless.
"It happened in the sanctuary of this man's home."
Judge Hammond commended the police for their fast response to save the victim, as well as the neighbour who raised the alarm.
He said Spong's pre-sentence report quoted him telling a probation officer the victim deserved to "lose a finger to teach him a lesson."
Paul Prior, defending Spong, said he had an unstable personality disorder sometimes causing challenging behaviour.
Shital Modhwadia, for Russell, said: "He's usually a calm person. He went there with a view to being threatening.
"Things got well out of hand."