Trio who tortured man and set fire to his hair are jailed

PUBLISHED: 19:25 20 July 2018 | UPDATED: 19:25 20 July 2018

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Two men and a woman who tortured a vulnerable Suffolk man by throwing darts at him and setting light to his hair with lighter fluid have been locked up for a total of seven-and-a-half years.

Prior to the attack on the victim at his flat in Risbygste Street, Bury St Edmunds, one of the men involved had been playing a game called ”Zombies”, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Matthew Sorel-Cameron, prosecuting, said that during the man’s five-day ordeal, darts were thrown at him and he was assaulted if he pulled them out.

He also had heated coins put on his hands and he was blindfolded and had a knife held at his throat.

He was also forced to drink a cocktail of Deep Heat pain relief and filler used for repairing cracks.

At one stage the terrified victim tried to jump out of a window but was dragged back inside.

His five-day ordeal, which started on March 28 2016, ended when he was ordered to go out and get cannabis and he went to West Suffolk Hospital, where he collapsed.

He told staff he had been tortured and when he was examined he was found to have small round wounds on his chest, arms and legs as well as bruising.

Sentencing Danny Freeman, Samuel Bridges and Laura Manning, Judge David Goodin described what they did to the victim, who is in his 40s, as “deliberate, calculated cruelty at a breathtaking level”.

“To describe it as a case of extreme bullying would be hopelessly inadequate,” added the judge.

Freeman, 20, of Daveren Walk. Bury St Edmunds; Manning, 24, of no fixed address and Bridges, 22, of Canterbury Way, Thetford admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.

Freeman and Manning also admitted criminal damage to the victim’s flat.

All three were sentenced to custodial sentences of 30 months and banned from contacting the victim for five years.

A fourth defendant, Anthony Bates, 20, of King Street, Thetford, admitted common assault and his sentence was adjourned.

Juliet Donovan, for Freeman, said her client had been playing a game called “Zombies” before the attack started and was deeply ashamed of his behaviour.

Jonathan Goodman, for Manning, said the offences happened two years ago and she had now distanced herself from people she had been mixing with.

David Wilson, for Bridges, said his client was a follower and not the ringleader.

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