Five members of a London gang have been handed jail sentences for the “extremely violent” kidnapping and torture of a 16-year-old.
Isaac Donkoh, 22, and his accomplices, aged fourteen and sixteen, were found guilty of offences including kidnap, grievous bodily harm (GBH), and false imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday.
A “drill music” artist and gang member, Donkoh and his teenage cohorts, who were acquaintances of the victim, arranged to meet their 16-year-old victim on the night of August 2nd last year in Barking, east London.
A short time later, at the agreed meeting spot on Gordon Road, the defendants pulled up in a dark blue Ford Mondeo and threatened their victim with a machete, punched him in the head, and forced him to get into the car.
They then secured plastic bags over the 16-year-old’s head with an elastic band, before driving him to the home of one of the 14-year-old defendants, according to a police statement recounting the case.
“I thought they were probably gonna kill me,” the victim disclosed in evidence to the court, where jurors heard the 16-year-old had been held at the London address for around two hours, during which he was forced to strip naked and beaten with a metal pole.
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The victim also had his hair forcibly cut, was made to swallow a joint of cannabis, and received punches and kicks to the head during the ordeal, in incidents which were filmed by Donkoh on his iPhone.
In addition, the 22-year-old reportedly caused “serious injury” to the victim’s feet, scalding them in the process of a failed attempt to pour boiling water on his head, before eventually allowing the teenager to escape once he made a phone call to his parents, in order to secure a £1,500 ransom fee.
Donkoh was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years while his accomplices were given sentences ranging from 30 to 42 months, according to local media — although it should be noted that it is typical for criminals in Britain to be released automatically at the halfway point or, more rarely, the two-thirds point in their sentences, serving the remainder of their time “on licence in the community”.
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Detective Chief Inspector Jim McKee, who led the investigation, commented: “This was an extremely violent incident, which has had a profoundly distressing impact on the victim and his family.
“Whilst the physical scars of that night have started to heal, I believe the psychological impact on the victim has been lasting.
“Donkoh fronted drill music videos for his gang which goaded rivals and recruited boys as young as 14 to commit serious violence.
“I believe that removing Donkoh from the streets of Newham has done a great deal to reduce serious violence in the borough, as we identified a direct correlation between his drill videos which glorified violence and shootings and stabbings on the streets,” he added.
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