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Jailed: Sadistic Telford torture gang get 78 years behind bars

Telford | News | Published:

Seven people who tortured a vulnerable man in Telford  in a campaign of "gratuitous and sadistic" violence have been locked up for a total of more than 70 years.

Top row, from left; Stephanie Titley, Nathan Bates, Gavin Smith. Bottom; Dean Butler, Daniel Doyle, the scene of the attack in Willowfield, Woodside.

The five men, one woman and a 17-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons attacked the 20-year-old - falsely believing he was a paedophile.

The victim was kept against his will at a house in Willowfield, Woodside, Telford by 26-year-old Stephanie Titley. Over several days, possibly more than a week, the young man was subjected to "degrading and dehumanising" violence and torture.

A court was told Titley befriended the victim. But when false accusations were made of the victim being a paedophile, the violence began.

It saw him punched, kicked, burnt, cut with knives and a machete and having the word "paedo" carved into his leg.

He was only discovered after police were called by somebody who had been told what had been going on by two of the defendants.

Titley along with Luke Mansell, 23, of Southgate, Telford; Nathan Bates, 19, of Villa Court, Telford; Daniel Doyle, 24, of Smallwood, Telford; Dean Butler, 23, of no fixed address, and Gavin Smith, 19, of Southgate, Telford, were sentenced as well as the 17-year-old.

Sentencing the group at Stafford Crown Court, Mr Justice Dove said each of the defendants played a part on the "appalling" treatment of the victim.

He said: "He was horribly injured and none of you did anything to seek help and assistance for him. You showed him no humanity.

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"You left him only returning to inflict more terrible violence upon him.

"He should have received your help, support and encouragement. Instead a vicious lie was spread about him that he was a paedophile. There is not and never was any truth in that but you appear to have latched on to that to justify your vile and sadistic torture of him.

"It led to cruel and degrading violence on that young man. It was at best vigilantiasm and at its heart was sadistic torture. The gratuitous violence and torture went on and on. I have no doubt he would have thought you were going to kill him. He had every reason to think so."

Titley was jailed for 13 years and four months for conspiracy to commit GBH with intent. She was given five years to be served concurrently for false imprisonment.

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Butler was locked up for 13 years and four months and Smith received 10 years.

Mansell was jailed for 12 years, of which he will have to serve two-thirds before being considered for parole. He was also given a four-year extended licence as he was already on licence when he committed the crime.

Doyle was jailed for 12 years, Bates got 10 years and the 17-year-old received four years detention.

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