Torture gang member’s jail term suspended after ‘campaign of cruelty’

Crown Court, Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

Crown Court, Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A man from Thetford who was part of a gang which tortured a vulnerable Suffolk man has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Anthony Bates punched the man once at an early stage of his five day ordeal, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Bates, 20, of King Street, Thetford, admitted common assault and was sentenced to four months youth detention, suspended for 24 months, on Thursday, August 23.

Sentencing him, Judge David Goodin said: “You were part of a campaign of breathtaking cruelty and a sadistic enjoyment for the pain and misery deliberately inflicted on a vulnerable victim.”

He accepted that Bates’ involvement was limited to a punch at an early stage of the “beastly campaign of cruelty.”

In addition to the suspended sentence, Bates was given a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work in the community.

At an earlier hearing, Bates’ three co-defendants were given custodial sentences totalling seven-and-a-half years for their involvement in the incident.

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The court heard that prior to the attack on the victim, who is in his 40s, at his flat in Risbygste Street, Bury St Edmunds, one of the other men involved in the attack had been playing a game called ‘Zombies’.

During the man’s ordeal, which took place in March 2016, darts were thrown at him and he was assaulted if he pulled them out.

He also had heated coins put on his hands, 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.

At an earlier hearing, Danny Freeman, 20, of Daveren Walk, Bury St Edmunds; Laura Manning, 24, of no fixed address and Samuel Bridges, 22, of Canterbury Way, Thetford, admitted assaulting the victim causing actual bodily harm.

Freeman and Manning also admitted criminal damage to the flat.

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

Isobel Ascherson, for Bates, said he was in employment and the victim’s injuries were caused by the actions of his co-defendants.