Three British teens were sentenced to jail time after torturing another teen for more than six hours and forcing him to drink urine from a dog bowl, The Coventry Telegraph reported.
The teens were sentenced at Warwick Crown Court in Warwickshire, England after pleading guilty to false imprisonment.
The ordeal started when the victim, 19-year-old Matthew Butcher, arrived at the home of his ex-girlfriend, 18-year-old Kathleen Phelan, to deliver a printer that had been mistakenly sent to his home. When Butcher arrived at the home, he was greeted at the door by 20-year-old George Russell-Brookes, Phelan’s new beau. Brookes invited him inside and immediately shoved him across the room and locked the door behind him.
From there, Russell-Brookes shoved, punched and kicked Butcher. Phelan initially protested the attack against her former lover, shouting at her new boyfriend to stop. Moments later though, Phelan herself began to join in on the abuse, demanding Butcher’s cell phone while shoving his head against the wall so forcefully it caused the plaster to crack.
Phelan then demanded Butcher make a call to to get her internet connection reestablished. Butcher complied and then asked if he could leave, but was told by Russell-Brookes that there was “so much more for you.”
The duo then hopped on FaceTime to invite a friend, 19-year-old Christopher Emery, to join in on the abuse.
“I’m on top of the world with this little rat I’ve got here,” Russell-Brookes told Emery during the call, according to the report.
While awaiting Emery, the duo then began making Butcher snort lines of salt. When Butcher vomited from that, he was forced by his abusers to eat the vomit.
Phelan then retrieved a bleach cleaning product and sprayed it on Butcher’s face and arms, causing him to experience a burning sensation, before warning Russell-Brookes not to take things too far.
“We don’t want him dead yet,” Phelan told Russell-Brookes.
Phelan and Russell-Brookes took turns sitting on Butcher’s chest, jabbing at it with a knife. Phelan then used Butcher’s finger to activate his phone in order to access his bank account, where she transferred $187 to her own account, made purchases, and paid for Emery’s taxi.
Emery then arrived at the residence with a four-meter long rope, which the trio used to tie around his legs and his neck, before telling Butcher to “act like a dog.”
The group made Butcher drink from a dog bowl containing a cocktail of beer, urine, and salt, telling him that if he did not comply they would continue the abuse for another 24 hours.
After surviving the assault, Butcher confided in a friend about the ordeal. When his friend told his parents about what Butcher had been through, the parents alerted police.
According to prosecutor James Dunstan, Phelan had previously been in a relationship with Butcher but began a relationship with Russell-Brookes before the incident.
Rebecca Wade, an attorney representing Phelan, told Warwick Crown Court Judge Andrew Lockhart that her client regretted her role in the incident.
“It started with her trying to stop what was happening before becoming an active participant,” Wade told Lockhart. “She is ashamed of the part she played in this awful episode.”
Nick Berry, an attorney representing Russell-Brookes, admitted to the judge his client’s behavior was unacceptable.
“It was a sickening incident. His behavior was utterly wicked,” Berry told Lockhart.
After hearing the details of the case, Lockhart didn’t hold back on airing his thoughts.
“You Mr. Russell-Brookes were intent on violence from the outset,” Lockhart told Russell-Brooks. “At that stage Kathleen Phelan you were shouting at him to stop, but you flipped from that to heavy engagement in what followed.”
“You Mr. Emery knew someone was being held like a rat, and you went to join in,” Lockhart told Emery.
“There was torture and humiliation. Any human being subjected by a fellow human being to this type of conduct will be seriously affected by it,” Lockhart continued. “In my judgement this is a very grave offence of false imprisonment, and in all your cases only a significant sentence of custody can be considered.”
For her part in the ordeal, Phelan was sentenced to three years detention. Russell-Brookes was sentenced to five years and three months in prison, while Emery was sentenced to four years and nine months.
Kathleen Phelan and women abusers
Women are the primary targets of domestic violence, and the #MeToo movement has drawn renewed attention to the ways that men oppress and abuse women. However, a large number of men face domestic violence, too, and their experiences are often dismissed. In the United States, one in seven adult men have endured “severe” domestic violence, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
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