A violent criminal who beat and tied up a man then threatened to chop him up and throw him into a canal has been jailed.
Lee Kella, of Frinstead House, North Kensington, was jailed on Tuesday (July 8) for nine years for witness intimidation, a violent false imprisonment, blackmail and assault in Little Venice, Westminster. The Eritrean national will be deported after completing his sentence.
Croydon Crown Court heard how Kella and the male victim met by chance in the Paddington area on April 25 last year and Kella threatened the victim over a long-running dispute over a sum of money Kella believed he was owed by the victim.
Kella, 30, took him to the flat of a known drug user in Little Venice, tied him up and assaulted him with a dumbbell and a knife, causing injuries to his face, legs and hands. He then covered his head with a pillow case, made a £3,500 ransom demand to the victim’s family and threatened to chop him up and throw him into the nearby canal.
Kella kept the victim in the flat for around two hours, taking trophy pictures on his iPad of the victim trussed and bleeding on the floor.
The victim managed to escape when Kella left the flat briefly, jumping from a first floor balcony and telling the public to alert the police.
During police enquiries, Kella contacted the victim warning him not to assist police and made threats to him and his family.
Sentencing, Judge Gold said Kella was an arrogant man who lived a criminal lifestyle.
Detective Constable James Charalambous supported the victim throughout the whole trial and on behalf of the family, said: “This was a heinous crime by Kella. Despite the worst efforts of the suspect he was brought to justice. I hope this case will give other victims of such crimes the confidence to come forward to police, as their allegations will be taken seriously and investigated sensitively.”