Havant man tortured with hot iron and kept prisoner, court told

Bob Higgins at an earlier court hearing  Picture Habibur Rahman/Solent News

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A MAN was tortured with a hot iron as part of a bid to get his PIN number, a court heard.

Prosecutors say Eugen Voinea was left with severe burns after a drinking session with friends turned into a horrifying ordeal.

A police investigation was launched when the 38-year-old was found collapsed in Bedhampton Way, Havant, after being repeatedly burned with the iron the day before and stabbed in the leg.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Mr Voinea, originally from Romania, was at the flat in Chidham Walk, Havant, on May 21 last year with pals Darren Harrison and Graham Foster-Middleton.

Harrison, 42, of Billy Lawn Avenue, Leigh Park, denies grievous bodily harm with intent, robbery and false imprisonment.

Prosecutor Christopher Stopa told the court the trio were drinking heavily. He said as Mr Voinea was sitting on the sofa, Harrison went in his pocket to take his wallet.

Mr Stopa said: ‘Darren picked up the iron and was shouting “tell me the PIN number”. He gave a number, but it was the wrong number.

‘Darren went out and came back. He then burned him with the iron.’

The jury was told Voinea was burned on his chest, arms, stomach and leg.

Mr Voinea said he was being held down by Foster-Middleton as Harrison burned him.

Mr Voinea told the court: ‘He pulled the curtains so people outside could not see. I was shouting “please don’t do this”.’

The door was locked so Mr Voinea could not escape, the jury heard.

Mr Voinea said he did not know why Harrison wanted his money.

Heavily intoxicated, the trio then fell asleep. The next day Mr Voinea was allowed out as he agreed to buy more alcohol, the jury heard.

He went into the nearby Chidham Stores in Havant.

Mr Stopa said: ‘He was bleeding from his right leg – so much so he left a trail of blood. He was in tears.’

Paramedics took Mr Voinea to Queen Alexandra Hospital and he was transferred to Salisbury Burns Unit for further treatment.

Mr Stopa said paramedics at the scene were shocked by what they saw.

He said: ‘He (the paramedic) noted to his chest severe burns that looked in the shape of an iron.

‘He felt the burns were potentially very serious.’

Mr Stopa added: ‘You might call what happened torture.’

Foster-Middleton, 46, of Chidham Walk, Havant, faces the same charges as Harrison, but is not being tried as he is seriously ill in hospital.

(Proceeding)