Three people who held a man against his will in a flat in Congleton have been jailed for more than five years.
The incident started when the victim of the imprisonment, a 28-year-old man, received a text message from Scott Stokes, whom he knew, stating ‘You don’t need to break my legs, I’m cutting my throat’.
Concerned that he might have harmed himself, the victim visited Stokes’s flat on West Street, Congleton.
But when he entered Stoke’s flat he found him lying on a bed – apparently uninjured.
The pair had a brief conversation before they were joined by Alex Jones and Sarah Nixon – and all three began to attack the victim.
The group ties his hands together and laid him on the sofa, before telling him to admit that he’d stolen Nixon’s car and was dealing drugs.
Fearing that he would be seriously harmed, the victim told the group he could pay them off with money – but he needed to take a taxi to collect it.
The group agreed and a short time later, led the victim out of the flat. The victim managed to escape, before seeking help from member of the public, who called the police.
Police officers attended and arrested Nixon. Jones and Stokes had fled the scene but were both subsequently arrested.
The trio were all charged with and pleaded guilty to a false imprisonment.
The group returned to Chester Crown Court on Friday 21 January where they were handed the following sentences –
• Alex Jones, aged 31, of Banky Fields, Congleton – 22 months in prison
• Sarah Nixon, aged 40 of Bradwell Grove, Congleton – 22 months in prison
• Scott Stokes, aged 26 of West Street, Congleton – 18 months in prison
All three were also order to pay £156 victims surcharge.
Following sentencing Detective Constable Jamie Roberts, said: “This was an absolutely terrifying ordeal and I welcome the sentences handed to the defendants.
“The victim believed that Stokes was his friend went to the flat to make sure he was OK.
“Little did he know that he had been set up and was about to be ambushed and assaulted by three people who he trusted.
“Thankfully he was able to escape before he came to serious harm, although the outcome could have been far worse.”