THREE men who tortured and locked a vulnerable man in a cupboard in his own home after taking over his property have been jailed for a total of 34 years.
Marcus Cullumbine (20), of Haigh Moor Way, Swallownest, Matthew Ward (23), of Garland Croft, Westfield, and Shakaiyah Swindells (18), of Shortbrook Drive, Westfield, abused the 40-year-old man between April and June this year.
They were all found guilty on December 11 of two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm with intent and causing grievous bodily harm with intent after a week-long trial.
Ward (pictured below) was also found guilty of assault.
Yesterday (Tuesday), Cullumbine was jailed for 11 years, Ward for 16 and Swindells for seven years at Sheffield Crown Court.
Ward befriended the man in early 2017 and the court heard he was initially nice to him. But one day he turned up at the victim’s Westfield property with Cullumbine, announced they were staying over and never left.
Swindells then joined and the trio began subjecting the man to regular beatings which left him with broken ribs, internal bleeding, burns and extensive bruising.
Det Con Dawn Murray, from South Yorkshire Police said: “This group exploited a vulnerable member of the community and I am pleased they have been found guilty and sent to prison.
“Our 40-year-old victim found the courage to report sustained and serious abuse in June 2017, after months of being made to feel like a prisoner in his own home.
“Our inquiry revealed that on several occasions, the victim was locked in a cupboard in his home against his will, while Ward, Cullumbine and Swindells were in the property.
“The trio also subjected our victim to violent attacks where he would be burned, punched and kicked, as well as being threatened with further violence if he didn’t comply.”
Det Sgt Anna Sedgwick, who led this investigation, said the men were “dangerous and violent criminals who posed a risk to other people”.
She added: “I hope their guilty conviction reassures the community that we will not tolerate anyone exploiting and abusing vulnerable people.
“These three are now behind bars for lengthy periods for their awful crimes.”
Read more on this in Friday’s Advertiser.