Three people who held a man against his will in a flat in Congleton have been jailed for more than five years.
At around 12.30am on Wednesday 15 September the victim, a 28-year-old man, received a text message from Scott Stokes stating ‘You don’t need to break my legs I’m cutting my throat’.
Concerned that he might have harmed himself, the victim decided to visit Stokes’s flat on West Street.
The victim entered the third floor flat at around 7.15am that day and found Stokes lying on the bed uninjured.
The pair had a conversation and all appeared to be OK. However, just moments later Alex Jones and Sarah Nixon entered the flat and the trio began to attack the victim.
The group then tied the man’s hands together and lay him on the sofa, they then threatened him and told him to admit that he had stolen Nixon’s car and was dealing drugs.
Fearing that he would be seriously harmed, the victim told the group that he had some money that he could give them, but he needed a taxi to collect it.
The group agreed to order a taxi and a short time later, they led the victim out of the flat and down to the ground floor to exit the building. As they did so, the victim managed to escape and sought help from member of the public outside who called the police.
Officers swiftly attended the scene and arrested Nixon. Jones and Stokes both fled the area on foot 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 the 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.”