Four men convicted after man held against will and tortured over money dispute
PUBLISHED: 18:48 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 18:55 09 October 2019
Four men have been convicted after a man was held against his will and tortured following a dispute about money.
Newham men Olutomi Baiyewu, 23, of Nottingham Avenue, Custom House; Sabir Rashid, 23, of Paragon Close, Canning Town; Kevin Toonga, 24, of Hathaway Crescen, Manor Park; and Tower Hamlets Bruno Pereira, 34, of Valencia Close, Poplar, were found guilty of offences at Inner London Crown Court today (Wednesday, October 9).
The court heard how the victim, aged in his 30s, had agreed in late 2018 to look after a total of £10,000 belonging to Toonga, Pereira and Rashid.
After a few months, Rashid contacted the victim to arrange the return of the money - however, the victim acknowledged he would have difficulty in paying it all back.
They agreed to meet at a bar in Canary Wharf on March 4, where Rashid was joined by Toonga and driven by Baiyewu.
After a short while, they escorted the victim to a car and drove him to a flat in Brixton where he was stripped naked, beaten and had a corrosive substance poured over his body.
The victim was also robbed of his house keys, phone, bank card and £300 in cash after he was forced to reveal his pin number.
The group also made threatening phone calls to the victim's partner, suggesting they would seriously harm the victim and his family if the cash wasn't returned.
They then allowed the victim to leave on the promise that he would return the money later that day.
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However, he came across police in nearby Kings Avenue and reported his ordeal.
Det Sgt Paul Connelly, who led the investigation, said: "This was a brutal and sustained attack which left the victim fearing for his life.
"Over a period of hours, he was held against his will and subjected to horrific violence - his ordeal only ending due to fears that neighbours in the flat where he was being held would hear his screams.
"Whatever the events that preceded this, there is absolutely no justification for violence.
"I commend my team for the painstaking hours they committed to this investigation and the lengths they went to in bringing these offenders to justice.
"Thanks to their diligent work, a group of dangerous individuals have been convicted and will now face a significant period of time behind bars."
Baiyewu was found guilty of robbery; Rashid was convicted of kidnap, false imprisonment and robbery; Toonga was found guilty of kidnap, robbery, false imprisonment and blackmail; and Pereira was convicted of two counts of false imprisonment and one count of blackmail.
They will be sentenced at Inner London Crown Court on November 8.