A MAN was held prisoner in a Whitehaven flat and 'tortured' by three men, who left him so badly injured he was 'unrecognisable', a jury heard.

The victim’s ordeal ended only after he was released so that he could to visit a late-night chemists to collect a prescription, and a passer-by who noticed his facial injuries flagged down a passing police car to ask for help.

Two men have already admitted being involved in the attack but a third has gone on trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

Jordan Starkey, 32, denies three allegations.

He has pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning the man, robbing him, and intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm. Prosecutor Tim Evans opened the case for the prosecution.

He said the charges arose from treatment that was meted out to a man named Sam McMahon between June 8 and June 11 last year.

Starkey and his "friends" subjected Mr McMahon to 'serious violence', dragging him back to the flat to continue the attack when he tried to escape, the jury were told.

This was 'torture' inflicted over an extended period, said the prosecutor.

Mr Evans told the court: “As a result of the beating – I repeat again more accurately torture – at the hands of these three men, including this defendant, he received, amongst other injuries, a number of fractures to his face including to both sides of his jaw and to this eye socket.”

The jury would hear 'ample evidence',  said the barrister, that the defendant, was guilty of all three allegations he faces.

The victim and the three men allegedly involved met at a Whitehaven flat to discuss getting cannabis, initially in a 'friendly manner', the court heard. 

“At the flat,” said Mr Evans, “things almost immediately took a turn for the worse.” One of the men delivered the first blow and initially it was that man – not the defendant – who carried out the attack, grabbing Mr McMahon by the throat and punching him.

Mr Evans said: “However, soon after the others became involved." The group took Mr McMahon’s phone and went through his messages, noticing he had been texting a younger girl.

"They called him a nonce,” said Mr Evans.

“You will hear that Jordan Starkey was repeatedly punching the complainant to the face at which point another of the men, whose nickname was 'Psycho', started hitting him in the ribs with a golf club.

“The attack with the weapon was ongoing with each of the defendants at some point hitting him with it. All three defendants kicked and stamped in the area of Mr McMahon’s chest, ribs and genital area.

"You will hear that during the attack he lost consciousness a number of times.”

Part of the attack, the court heard, involved Starkey, of Seven Acres, Parton, using scissors to threaten that he would castrate Mr McMahon.

Starkey was arrested at 9.25pm at the flat in which the attack occurred and there with him were the two other men who have admitted their guilt.

The jury heard from PC Ellie Nicholson, the first police officer to see Mr McMahon after he left the late-night chemists. Though she knew him, she did not at first realise it was Mr McMahon, so swollen was his face.

“He was completely unrecognisable,” she told the jury.

She saw Mr McMahon in a courtyard, a short distance from the all-night chemists on Lowther Street, Whitehaven. At first, he was too scared to tell her what had happened, saying he did not want to be a 'grass'.

He later confirmed he had been at 'Psycho’s house'.

After his release from jail, Mr McMahon began speaking to a 14-year-old girl from Workington, he said, and they became friends. He told her that if only she had been 18 they “could have had something special going on.”

He said he had been to 'Psycho’s house' to smoke cannabis.

In the living room he was met by Starkey and another man, and he was repeatedly kicked and punched. His mobile phone was taken, and the men read his messages, noticing the ones to the girl.

Calling him a 'nonce', they continued attacking him, stamping on his chest and his genitals, and using the golf club on him. He said. “He said he had lost consciousness and when he woke up he noticed he was missing property – his Diesel watch, his Tesco mobile, £25 in notes, and a set of house keys,” said Mr Evans.

One of the men – not the defendant – later took him to the chemists to collect his methadone, and then let him go, telling Mr McMahon that if he told anyone [about what happened] he was dead man.”

The jury heard that Mr McMahon has died, but his death had nothing to do with the injuries inflicted on him during the June incident last year.

The trial continues.