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A man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after admitting a brutal assault and false imprisonment which left a man fighting for his life.
Lee Cekic, 24, formerly of George Hill Road, Broadstairs, appeared at Canterbury Crown Court on Thursday 23 May to be sentenced for the false imprisonment and grievous bodily harm with intent of 25-year-old Margate man, Joe Bath.
His sister Jade Cekic, 22, of Vicarage Place, Margate, pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice. She was sentenced to 21 months on 28 May as well.
During the early hours of Sunday, 12 August last year, Mr Bath had attended a Margate nightclub where he was involved in an altercation with his ex-girlfriend Jade Cekic. During the incident Cekic was ejected from the club after being seen to head butt Mr Bath.
After leaving the club and entering Cecil Square, Margate, he was called over to a Ford Focus being driven by Lee Cekic and got in. Jade was also in the vehicle. Lee then drove the car, assaulting Joe as he drove and stabbing him in the face.
During the drive, Mr Bath was taken out of the car twice, beaten unconscious and put back into the vehicle as it made its way between Thanet and Herne Bay and back to Thanet.
Mr Bath was eventually able to get out of the vehicle and run to a nearby house in Kingsgate Bay Road, Broadstairs, to summon help.
Lee’s car was later found burnt out in Herne Bay.
An ambulance was called and Mr Bath’s injuries were described as being life-threatening. He had suffered stab wounds to his head, suffered two bleeds on the brain, a fractured skull and significant bruising all over his body.
During the incident officers were able to piece together mobile phone communication between Lee Cekic and his mother Paula Cekic and father Negovan Cekic. It is understood that the pair were able to assist their children in attempting to cover up the attack.
Lee used Mr Bath’s phone to make numerous phone calls throughout the evening. During the course of the investigation both Paula and Negovan were charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and admitted the offence on Wednesday 22 May. They were sentenced to 21 months on 28 May.
Leading the investigation was Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, who said: ‘There is no doubt in my mind that Lee Cekic intended to seriously hurt Mr Bath and subjected him to a terrifying and horrific ordeal. It was a sickening and violent attack which left the victim with horrendous injuries and he will be scarred for life.
‘The offender’s parents and his sister then assisted Lee in attempting to cover up this crime giving false statements to the police and trying to shift the blame elsewhere.
‘Mr Bath has shown great courage and bravery by standing up to his attacker in providing evidence and I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the officers who carried out thorough and painstaking investigations and uncovered the full extent of the assault despite attempts to cover it up.’