Two young men who subjected their friend to an “appalling and brutal” attack in a flat in Belfast during which he was tortured and sexually assaulted have been jailed.
Both were also placed on the sex offenders register for life.
Sentencing Darren Fu to 11 years and a co-accused to six years, Judge Gordon Kerr spoke of the humiliation and degradation meted out to Aobhan Woods, who at the time of the incident was just 17.
Fu, 20, from Drumart Walk in Belfast and the co-accused, who was 17 at the time of the offence and who cannot be named due to a reporting restriction, appeared in Belfast Crown Court where they were sentenced for a litany of offences.
The court heard how the duo subjected Mr Woods to “exceptional degradation” at a flat in the Stranmillis area of Belfast during which he was tied up, threatened at knifepoint, locked in a cupboard, subjected to several serious sexual assaults and had cigarettes put out on him.
Two weapons were also used during the sexual assaults – a drumstick and a microphone stand – and at one stage the victim believed photographs were being taken, and threats were issued that if he told anyone what had happened, the pictures would be released.
Drugs, the court heard, played a “significant role” in the incident.
Passing sentence, Judge Gordon Kerr QC branded Fu and the co-accused’s actions as “sadistic” and said: “It is hard to imagine the terror and feelings of helplessness he (Mr Woods) must have felt during this horrifying ordeal.”
This ordeal occurred on May 30, 2014 when Mr Woods called to Fu’s flat. At a previous hearing, the court was told that Mr Woods had been told by his friend Fu to sell some Mephodrone and he was worried before entering the flat because he had not sold enough.
Mr Woods was attacked almost immediately and threatened with rape and at one point had a pillowcase placed over his head.
Judge Kerr spoke of the effect the incident has had on Mr Woods, who has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder as a result of what happened.
Fu claimed that he cannot remember what happened as the incident took place at a time when he was taking drugs excessively and was not in control of himself.
Both he and his co-accused will spend half their sentences in custody and half on licence.