Belfast man who tried to carve 'paedo' into kidnap victim's forehead is jailed
A 46-year-old Belfast man has been handed a seven-year sentence for taking part in an assault and kidnapping.
During the victim's two-hour ordeal, he was beaten with an iron bar, an attempt was made to carve the word 'paedo' on his forehead and he was hooded, bound and dumped in a derelict house in the west of the city.
Attacker Paul Creighton, from Tates Avenue in the south of the city, will spend half his sentence in prison, and the remainder on supervised licence.
Also appearing at Belfast Crown Court on charges arising from the same incident was a youth now aged 17, but who was 14 at the time.
He admitted hitting the victim with an iron bar, but was spared jail after the victim said that if he showed genuine remorse, he should be given a second chance.
The youth was given a 240-hour community service order, will be under the supervision of the Youth Justice Agency for a year and was ordered to write a letter of apology.
Sentencing the pair, Judge Gordon Kerr QC said they had subjected the man to a "sustained period of brutal violence".
The court heard the attack took place at a house in the Village area of Belfast on May 15, 2013. The victim, aged 38 at the time, had struck up a friendship with a female and the two talked and swapped numbers. The female was under 18, and the court heard there was no evidence to suggest anything untoward had occurred between the man and the teenager.
On the night of the incident, the man drove to the girl's home. He noticed a number of males in the house, prompting him to leave and call the girl, who told him it was okay for him to return. She brought him in, but a short time later a group of men armed with various weapons entered the room and began attacking him.
During the ordeal, he was threatened and repeatedly called a paedo.
The youth admitted striking the man several times with an iron bar, and Creighton admitted trying to carve the word 'paedo' on the victim's forehead with a Stanley knife. The knife was also pushed against his throat as threats were made.
The man was bound, hooded and put into the boot of his own car. Creighton then drove the vehicle to a derelict house on the Springfield Road. Before being dumped there, the victim was beaten once again.
After his attackers fled, the victim was able to untie his hands, leave the house and drive to safety. He was treated at hospital for multiple wounds and needed 16 sutures to his forehead and three to his ear.
Judge Gordon Kerr said that as a result of the incident, the man, who thought he was going to die, was left with post-traumatic stress disorder.
When the defendants were arrested, Creighton told police he was drinking on the night in question and had a "limited memory" of what occurred. But he accepted using a Stanley knife on the victim's forehead.
The youth accepted he had been present, and that he had struck the man several times with an iron bar.
During yesterday's sentencing, Judge Kerr said the attackers "degraded" the victim and that a "real attempt was made to permanently brand" his forehead.
Creighton, a father-of-two, admitted five charges, including kidnapping, wounding with intent and aggravated vehicle taking. In addition to the jail term, he was banned from driving for two years.
The youth - who also admitted five charges including kidnapping, wounding and possessing an iron bar with intent - later said he was "sickened" when he saw the knife being used on the man. He has since expressed remorse for his actions.