Jail sentences are doubled for two torturers

From left, James Champion and Dane Perkins
From left, James Champion and Dane Perkins
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­TWO attackers who tortured a man in a ‘barbaric’ assault have had their sentences doubled.

James Champion and Dane Perkins kicked, stamped on, punched and burnt their victim with an iron in an attack that lasted more than an hour.

The men were each jailed for five years in October after being convicted of making a threat to kill, actual bodily harm and false imprisonment following a trial at Winchester Crown Court.

Now their sentences have been quashed by the Court of Appeal and increased to 10 years with an extended licence period of three years each.

The victim was tied up, had a plastic bag put over his head, dangled over a second-floor balcony and told he would be killed. He was also submerged in a bath full of water.

Champion, 27, of Chandos Rise, Portsmouth, had been out of prison for just two weeks and Perkins, 26, was on weekend leave from an indeterminate sentence when the attack happened.

The assault happened on August 31 last year when Dane Perkins’ brother Cole called him claiming he was at his James Close home in Gosport with a friend and that they had bought and taken some drugs together when Perkins couldn’t find his wallet.

His friend denied taking it, but the victim said when Champion and Dane Perkins arrived it was ‘game over’.

A fight ensued, and the victim was attacked despite insisting he did not have the wallet and even stripping to show it wasn’t on him. He was then told the two men were going to ‘take it to the next level’.

Champion and Perkins tied him with electric cable, bound his hands and feet behind him and placed a plastic bag over his head.

A cold bath was run and he was repeatedly plunged under the water by his attackers who told him he would be drowned.

The victim could barely breathe under water and choked through the plastic bag.

Next a steam iron was used to burn his arm.

Champion and Perkins dragged him to the balcony and dangled him head first over the edge laughingly telling him they would ‘chuck him over’.

They said if he told anyone they would kill his family.

Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP said: ‘I referred this case to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient as this incident was prolonged and sustained involving repeated and terrifying assaults. The victim believed he was going to die.

‘Submerging his head in water and hanging him over the edge of the balcony amounted to a barbaric level of torture.’

Det Sgt Gemma Hunter said: ‘The Court of Appeal upheld the prosecution’s arguments that the events amounted to torture, not just humiliation, and I’m pleased with the increase in the sentence.’