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21 January 2011, 16:45
Two men and a woman have all been jailed for their parts in kidnapping a man in Luton during which he was horrifically scalded with boiling water on his face and arms.
The reason why Rasel Ahmed was targeted still remains unclear, but he was lured to a house in Bury Park Road, Luton, believing he was going to be offered work.
Then he was set upon and money demanded from him, said prosecutor Claudette Elliott at Luton Crown Court today.
Judge Richard Foster said the two men, Shem Hay and Aaron Saunders had come from London to Luton to buy drugs. They were driven by Andrea Bretherton in a hired car.
He told Hay and Saunders: "He was viciously attacked until he was almost senseless and then Hay poured boiling water in and around his face on two occasions causing horrific injuries.
"He must have suffered the most terrible pain and he feared for his life. Even then the assault continued.
"Fortunately he has made a miraculous recovery from the injuries but is still in pain and suffers psychological damage from his ordeal.
"He was an illegal immigrant and as such was inhibited to seek medical treatment and report matters to police. These were despicable events."
Hay, 26 on no fixed address, was jailed for seven and a half years and Saunders, 27, of Rochdale Way, Greenwich, South London, was jailed for five and a half years.
Both men pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent. Charges of attempted robbery and kidnap were not proceeded with but Miss Elliott said the men accepted the facts of those offences by their plea to the assault charge.
Bretherton, 28 of Dagmar Road, Camberwell, South London, who was said to be of impeccable character,was found guilty by a jury of attempted robbery, kidnap and false imprisonment. She had pleaded not guilty by was convicted in December. She was jailed for two years.
Prosecutor, Miss Elliott said the events occurred on Sept 11 2009, but the two men were not arrested until February last year.
The hire car had a tracker device fitted and it was clear that two previous journeys had been made to Luton, she said.
After Mr. Ahmed was scalded at the house, he heard the words 'murder' and 'money'.
"He intelligently offered to take them to get money from another house in Shaftesbury Road, Luton.
"But outside the house he tried to escape. They grabbed him back and carried on the assault in the street. An eye witness saw him being smashed on the head with a bottle.
"Miss Bretherton was in the car with the engine running, and drove them away. On the seven minute journey he tried several times to open the car door to get out but was prevented.
"At Shaftesbury Road she waited in the car as he was frog marched into the house and it must have been an horrific sight for the people in the house which included women and children.
"Mr. Ahmed run upstairs and locked himself in a bedroom and the attackers were prevented from going any further. They threatened to kill everyone if the police were called."
But police began an investigation as eye witnesses had reported seeing a man being attacked in the street and forced into a car.
Satyanand Beharrylal, defending Hay said; "He accepts he was the one who picked up the kettle and poured the boiling water. It was a moment of madness and there is nothing in his background to suggest he would have done this or would ever do it again."
Lee Sergent, for Saunders said; "He greatly regrets the part he played. He did not throw the water and was sickened at the sight of the injuries. He is using his time in prison to make himself a better person."
Osman Osman defending Bretherton said: "This was completely out of character and she regrets taking the journey that she did. While on remand she has reassessed her whole life and is involved in helping other prisoners and education."
Judge Foster told her: "It is sad to see you sentenced for such serious matters having led an unblemished and positively good life. I accept you were led astray but criminality of this magnitude cannot be swept under the carpet.
"You must have been fully aware that someone was going to try and rob him and you must have realised the terrible state he was in when he got into the car and you carried on driving."