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Friday, 29 August 2014

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Man escapes after nine-hour torture and terror ordeal

A sadistic thug who subjected one of his friends to a nine-hour ordeal of “torture and terror” has been jailed for seven years.

Richard Myerscough, 47, feared he would be killed as his tormentor and two accomplices gagged, stripped and beat him, then forced him to write a suicide note, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

The attack was led by 20-year-old Dalton Fisher, of Wilson Street, Workington.

His accomplices were Martin McMullen, 32, of Crown Street, Cockermouth and 30-year-old Stuart Farish, of Botcherby Avenue, Carlisle.

All were jailed at the city’s court, where Fisher also admitted carrying out a motiveless screwdriver attack on a 61-year-old grandmother in a Workington park.

David Bentley, prosecuting, described how Fisher went out drinking with Mr Myerscough in Whitehaven on November 22. Afterwards, Fisher visited a children’s home he once lived in and his mood suddenly changed.

At a nearby Chinese takeaway, Fisher told Mr Myerscough there was something on the floor and as his friend bent down, Fisher kicked him in the face.

Later he poured a can of cola over Mr Myerscough, telling him, “Scars cost money,” and appeared to blame him for something that happened in the pub.

After meeting up with the other two defendants, the four went to Fisher’s home, then at Lismore Place, Workington. As they went in the back door, Fisher told Mr Myerscough to lie on the floor and used Farish’s hat to gag him before all three began kicking him in the head and body.

Having ordered Mr Myerscough to remove his T-shirt, Fisher then used a table leg to beat him.

“Fisher then ordered him to write a suicide note,” said Mr Bentley. “He used computer ink to smear his [victim’s] fingers so he [could] leave his fingerprint on the note.

“The complainant was shaking with fear, believing he would be killed. He saw a red rope nearby and was very frightened that he’d be hanged.”

Fisher told him he would use mole grips to pull off his private parts and that he would kill him by injecting him with heroin.

He also threw freezing water over Mr Myerscough and forced him into the cupboard under the stairs, periodically opening the door to prod him with a sharp implement.

It was at around 7am the next day, as the others slept, that Mr Myerscough was able to sneak out and escape. He spent a couple of days in hospital as a result.

In the earlier attack, on November 5 last year, Fisher used a screwdriver to stab 61-year-old Helene Weaver in the shoulder as she walked through Vulcan Park at 3pm. At no point did he speak to his victim and the reason he stabbed her is unknown.

Fisher admitted two assaults occasioning actual bodily harm, affray, false imprisonment and carrying an offensive weapon in public.

Frances Hertzog, defending, said his client was a product of his upbringing, during which he was physically abused. Brought up in the care system, he had no positive role model in his life.

“He became heavily involved in drugs and started using narcotics at the age of 12, and by the age of 14 he was injecting amphetamine,” said the barrister.

When not under the influence of drugs, he was respectful and intelligent. “He is exceptionally remorseful,” she added.

Alison Whalley, for McMullen, who admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, said he was of previous good character. He was jailed for 21 months.

Greg Hoare, for Farish, who admitted the same offence, said his client had moved to Carlisle to get away from untoward influences. Farish was jailed for 27 months.

Judge Paul Batty QC told Fisher: “Regarding the false imprisonment offence, in my view it represents a campaign of torture and terror, extending over a period of at least nine hours. It has clear sadistic elements to it.”

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