|Locked Up: Paige Springer & Tanisha Williams|
Two young women, who inflicted “gratuitous degradation” on a vulnerable internet date during a 24-hour ordeal, which saw him beaten, throttled and told he would be killed, have been jailed.
The 27 year-old man, who has learning difficulties, was dunked in a cold bath, strangled with a rope then a hair straightener’s electrical cord and threatened with an electric drill.
Greenwich University student Tanisha Williams, 20, and mum-of-two Paige Springer, 20, were told by a judge: “It is a sickening case.”
Both were sentenced at Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court to twenty-eight months custody after pleading guilty to causing actual bodily harm on December 4, 2015.
The victim, James Liddell, who lives in supported housing and has a care worker, enjoyed an online romance with Williams via dating site TangoWire and was lured to her flat in John Parker Square, Battersea.
She was joined by pal Springer, of Ramsden Road, Balham and both participated in a violent joint enterprise attack.
Luckily an unexpected visitor saw the bloody victim, despite the women’s attempts to block his view, and he dialled 999.
“I cannot think of any more appropriate words than gratuitous degradation,” said Judge Timothy Lamb QQ. “Twenty-four hours subjecting him to fear and violence.”
Prosecutor Mr. Gavin Pottinger told the court: “He is particularly vulnerable and this was a sustained assault.
|Date From Hell: James Liddell|
“He thought Miss Williams was in a relationship with him, but when he arrived she locked the door behind him and said: ‘You’re going to die today.’
“He could hear Miss Williams on the phone to friends saying she was going to kill someone and he was hit by her with a pole that caused bleeding and loss of consciousness.
“Further threats were made and he was dragged from the lounge to the bathroom by Miss Williams, stripped and made to get into the bath and remained there until he felt cold.
“His head was pushed under the water and an electric drill was also taken into the bathroom and brandished by Miss Williams, who kept turning it on and off, revving it.
“He was throttled with the electrical cord of some hair straightener’s by Miss Williams.”
The victim responded by desperately thumping the wall in an attempt to raise the alarm.
Springer threatened Mr. Liddell with a knife, telling him: “If you move you’re going to get stabbed.”
Both women repeatedly punched, kicked and slapped Mr. Liddell, and Springer tried to hit him on the head with a hammer saying: “I want to kill him, I want to hit him.”
She did not make a clean contact, but the blow left a bump and Mr. Liddell was also struck in the eye with a bottle after Williams said: “You’d better hit him with a bottle, knock him out.”
He suffered a lacerated forearm, a cut to his left eye, plus cuts, scrapes and bruising to other parts of his body.
His blood was found on Williams’ shoes and on Springer’s clothing.
Two months later Mr. Liddell complained he was still having nightmares about the incident and was nervous about leaving his home.
“There was a clear intention to cause more injury than he sustained because there were a number of blows that did not connect with any real force,” added Mr. Pottinger.
Williams’ lawyer Mr. Dan Darnbrough said: “She deeply regrets her actions. It will be her first custodial sentence and she is terrified.
“Sometimes she drank to excess and took cannabis and says her anti-depressant tablets turned her into a zombie.”
Making a ten-year restraining order, prohibiting both women contacting Mr. Liddell. Judge Lamb added: “There is no dispute this is a Category One offence.
“Save for motherhood there’s little in mitigation for these defendants for me to take a different course.”