Two men have been jailed after they violently assaulted a vulnerable victim in Rochester with scissors and broken glass.

Lewis Barovbe (left image) and Stephen Gillard repeatedly attacked the man last year, as they were using his home to store supplies of Class A drugs.

The assaults took place after a large quantity of crack cocaine was left at the victim’s address near the Tideway, causing him to panic and flush the drugs down a toilet.

Stabbed side of victim’s head

In response, Barovbe and Gillard went to the property on 4 July 2022, and demanded £1,000. Barovbe kicked the man several times and then stabbed the side of his head with a pair of scissors.

They returned three days later when Barovbe assaulted the victim again and smashed a mirror over his head. He then stabbed him several times with a shard of the broken glass.

The victim crawled to his front door to call for help but Gillard dragged him back inside.

The man was made to clear up the blood on the floor with bleach and place the broken mirror in a bin bag. Gillard disposed of the bag in a neighbouring garden.

Police were alerted after a member of the public saw blood stains outside the victim’s home. Officers located the injured man and the assailants’ fingerprints were later recovered from the scene of the assaults.

Prolonged torture

Barovbe, 26, of no fixed address and Gillard, 33, from Rochester were arrested on 11 July.

At Maidstone Crown Court, Barovbe pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and Gillard admitted causing grievous bodily harm.

They were sentenced on Friday 7 July 2023, when Judge Julian Smith described the offences as ‘ prolonged, amounting at times almost to torture’.

Barovbe was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment. Gillard was jailed for two years and three months. Both men will also be subject to restraining orders on release from prison. 

PC Ellis Langford, of North Division CID, said: ‘Barovbe and Gillard used fear to coerce a vulnerable victim to allow them to use his home. When things did not go to plan, these violent bullies resorted to a series of appalling assaults on a man who was in no position to defend himself.

‘Thanks to the concerns of a passing member of the public who spotted some blood stains, local constables were able to locate the victim and get him the immediate medical assistance and support he required.

‘The evidence our officers then gathered was indisputable, and it has helped to ensure these criminals were brought to justice and are now facing well-deserved prison sentences.’

By Ed

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