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Torture gang caged

PUBLISHED: 12:41 30 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:24 24 August 2010

by Alex Wellman and Elizabeth Joyce A Brutal gang that tortured an innocent man with boiling water, a leather cosh and 18-inch knife has been locked up for more than 20 years. Aaron Foster, 24, of Wells Drive, Kingsbury, Menelik Lewis, 2

by Alex Wellman and Elizabeth Joyce

A Brutal gang that tortured an innocent man with boiling water, a leather cosh and 18-inch knife has been locked up for more than 20 years.

Aaron Foster, 24, of Wells Drive, Kingsbury, Menelik Lewis, 24, of St Margaret Road, Kensal Green and Darren Benjamin, 30, of Harley Road, Harlesden, ambushed Anthony Powell outside his Wolverhampton home on the morning of June 9 this year.

The vicious trio, all wearing ski masks, went for the unsuspecting man as he was putting his bin out dressed only in boxer shorts and a string vest.

Once inside the house the gang tied him up, gagged him and put a pillow case over his head before stabbing him in the leg, pouring boiling water down his back, punching him, kicking him and beating him with a leather cosh.

The gang, who was described as a 'drugs taxi team' in court, went for the victim in the mistaken belief that he had information on a car.

Mr Anthony Johnson, prosecuting, said: "The knife was held to the throat of Anthony Powell and one of the men said 'behave, don't open your mouth.'

"They then questioned him about a BMW Z4, which he knew nothing about, and a kettle was boiled - despite his protests, they poured scalding water along his back."

After torturing the victim for 20 minutes, the gang fled in a van with the victim's laptop, television and mobile phone.

The attackers were stopped by police and found with duct tape, cables and the cosh after neighbours took down the van's registration.

Recorder Peter Cooke said: "In short, this man was tortured in his own home and he was tortured for 20 minutes. When you had finished you left him tied up and as he struggled free he left a trail of blood around the house.

"This case calls for a severe deterrent sentence, it was an horrific episode."

Foster was sentenced to an indeterminate sentence and must serve at least four years before being considered for release.

Lewis and Benjamin were both given seven years while driver Curtis Charles, 25, of Acton, was given five years.

All four pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary on September 22 and were sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday October 24.

alex.wellman@archant.co.uk


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