Tom Bristow, Reporter
Thursday, June 21, 2012
A hostage was imprisoned in a Norwich kitchen and beaten up for six hours in a row over a burglary, a court has heard.
Money was demanded from the victim’s parents to keep their son safe and yesterday, at Norwich Crown Court, four men were jailed for a total of eleven-and-a-half years after admitting false imprisonment.
The victim had headed into Norwich with his girlfriend on the morning of November 3 last year and arranged to go round to Lee Grey’s home on Waterloo Road. The court heard that he produced cannabis which had been stolen from Lee Grey’s sister.
The victim was accused of burgling the sister’s house and her brothers Lee and Scott Grey trapped him in the home and dished out random beatings while demanding cash to let him go.
Will Carter, prosecuting, said: “He was told he would be killed and said as the day wore on he believed he would be killed.”
He said the brothers threatened him with a knife and another man named John Lucas arrived who also punched him in the face.
The hostage was made to speak to his father over the phone who agreed to pay £200 into the bank account of Lee Grey’s partner Rozanne Matthews.
Around 5pm the eldest of the brothers, Mark Grey appeared and hit the hostage in the face with a six pack of lager. He told the hostage: “If I had it my way I would tie your neck to the car and drive you up the street.”
The victim was also taken by the men to his girlfriend’s house in Norwich which they broke into.
After the money from his father had arrived the hostage was told to call his mother and get more money. Hearing her son being beaten up in the background, she agreed to meet Matthews and the partner of Lucas, Jemma Crotch, at the Fiveways petrol station to hand over £60.
Soon after the women returned to the home the victim escaped through a window and was chased across a roof top. When he met his girlfriend he was covered in blood.
The victim later admitted breaking into the sister’s home, but Judge Alasdair Darroch said nobody deserved the treatment unleashed on the 22-year-old.
Matthew McNiff, mitigating for Scott Grey, said the men had not planned the false imprisonment and he said his client wanted to “wipe the slate clean”. John Farmer, for Lee Grey, questioned the victim’s version of events and said Lee Grey was a “family man”.
John Morgans, for Mark Grey, said his client did not go to the home until later on and did not use a knife.
The court was told John Lucas’ behaviour was “out of character”.
Lee Grey, 27, of Waterloo Road, Norwich and Scott Grey, 26, of Rothbury Road, Wymondham, were sentenced to three years in prison.
The eldest brother, Mark Grey, 29, of Lily Avenue, Hockering, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years.
John Lucas, 32, of Coronation Crescent, Hempnall was also sentenced to three years. His partner Jemma Crotch, 26, of the same address was ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work for assisting in the offence. Rozanne Matthews, 33, of Waterloo Road, Norwich, was ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work for the same offence.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Guy, who led the investigation, said: “The incident could have been far worse had the victim not escaped via the window.
“I believe that if the group had located the victim immediately after his escape he would have suffered further assaults.
“These types of offences are rare in the county and the police will always take complaints of this nature seriously including measures to protect vulnerable witnesses.”