Thug who 'climbed in window and threatened man for over an hour' is jailed

Andrew Reilly

Andrew Reilly. - Credit: Suffolk Police

A thug who dragged a man out of bed and threatened him with a knife for more than an hour over an alleged drug debt has been jailed.

Andrew Reilly had climbed through a window at the man's Lowestoft home and dragged his victim out of bed, before asking for a plastic sheet and ordered him to get into a bath.

During the ordeal, the victim contacted his boss and begged him for £300 to “prevent his head being smashed in” and in another telephone call he was in tears as he said he needed money before he was stabbed, Ipswich Crown Court was told on Thursday, January 27.

Ipswich Crown Court.

Andrew Reilly was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court on January 27. - Credit: Archant

Recorder Graham Huston said: “He thought serious violence was going to be used whilst he was in the bath.

"He was scared out of his wits."

The victim was forced to leave his Reeve Street home and taken to another address on Jacobs Street, before the pair left again, with Reilly, who was brandishing a knife, claiming he would force the victim to commit a robbery to get his money.

While the pair were walking, the victim managed to escape and call 999.

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Reilly, 33, of Notley Road, Lowestoft, admitted false imprisonment dating back to March 12, 2020 and three offences of assault on emergency workers.

He was jailed for a total of five years and four months, and was also given a three-year extended licence period, as well as a restraining order which banned from from contacting the victim, following the hearing.

John Farmer, prosecuting, said an ambulance was called to an address in Jacobs Street, Lowestoft, in March last year by Reilly who was injured.

He was in a bad mood and was under the influence of drink or drugs at the time, Mr Farmer said.

When police officers restrained Reilly, who was wanted in connection with the false imprisonment charge, he spat at them.

He had also spat at a paramedic who was concerned because the incident happened during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Andrew Thompson, mitigating, said that because a drug debt Reilly claimed was owed to him by the victim of the false imprisonment hadn’t been paid despite repeated promises, Reilly had been held liable for it and had been badly beaten.

DI Matt Adams of Lowestoft CID said: “This attack was against a vulnerable individual who was known to the defendant.

"The victim in this case was targeted by Reilly over a debt he considered the victim to be responsible for.

"During the ordeal Reilly subjected the victim to violence, threatened him with a knife and took him from one property to another where he was further detained against his will.

"Thankfully the victim was able to escape and sought immediate assistance from the police.

“I commend the victim for his courage in coming forward and seeing this through to the end.

"Reilly is a violent bully who thought he could offend without repercussion, he didn’t plead guilty until the day his trial was due to commence, no doubt hoping the victim would be too afraid to give evidence.

"Reilly is no stranger to jail but I am glad to see him back behind bars where he can no longer cause upset in the community.”