Three men who beat, burned and even made their victim get inside a dog cage during a brutal attack in Walworth have been jailed.
Police received a series of calls in the evening of July 24, 2018, from concerned members of the public who could see a man on a balcony at an address in Walworth shouting for help.
When officers arrived, they found the 49-year-old victim inside a flat described as “completely ransacked”.
The victim told them he had been attacked for several hours by three men, all strangers but it later emerged they had been “cuckooing” – using his home to store drugs.
In hospital, the man was found to have suffered a fractured jaw and burns to his arm.
The trio had beaten him with an aerosol can, which was also used as a makeshift flamethrower on him.
They also stubbed out cigarettes on him and forced him into a dog cage.
His three attackers were identified after a set of car keys were discovered at the crime scene and traced to Dennis Camara, aged 25, from Aylton Estate in Renforth Street, Rotherhithe.
He had reported the vehicle stolen the day before the attack, which police say was an attempt to distance himself from the crime scene.
Forensic evidence then linked 24-year-old Alan Niango to the attack. He handed himself into police on July 30, 2018.
Camara handed himself into police later the same day.
The third suspect, Axel Harvey, aged 25, from Arnside Street in Walworth, was identified and arrested in August last year.
Further enquiries established that they had been using the victim’s address to store suspected class A drugs, and then blamed him when they believed some had gone missing.
“Cuckooing” is a form of increasingly common drug crime, where dealers take over a vulnerable person’s home to use it to store and sometimes deal drugs.
The man had been too afraid to tell police he knew his attackers.
Camara, Niango and Harvey were found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and false imprisonment at Inner London Crown Court in November.
All three have now been jailed.
Niango and Harvey were handed ten years for GBH and seven years for false imprisonment, to run concurrently.
Camara was given nine years in prison for GBH and six years for false imprisonment.
Detective Constable Sam Cafferty said: “The victim was absolutely terrified and in fear of his life during the incident and is still struggling to come to terms with what happened to him.
“He has sleepless nights and he is scared whenever he is out in public.
“Camara, Niango and Harvey carried out their cowardly and vicious attack over several hours, not only inflicting serious injuries but humiliating the victim as well. Now they will spend time behind bars.”