Knifeman climbed through window and pulled victim out of bed over drug debt

ipswich crown court

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A man who was dragged out of bed and threatened with a knife during an ordeal lasting more than an hour over an alleged drug debt was “scared out of his wits”, a court has heard.

During the incident the man 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.

At one stage during the man’s ordeal Andrew Reilly, who had climbed through a window at the man’s home in Lowestoft and dragged him out of bed, asked for a plastic sheet and ordered him to get into a bath.

“He thought serious violence was going to be used whilst he was in the bath. He was scared out of his wits,” said Recorder Graham Huston.

Further threats and demands were then made by Reilly, who was brandishing a knife, before the victim managed to escape and call 999 while he was running away.

The court heard that no physical injury was caused to the victim during his false imprisonment ordeal, during which he was moved between several different properties.

On Monday, October 11, Reilly, 32, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to an offence of false imprisonment dating back to March last year. 

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He also admitted three offences of assault on emergency workers. 

The court heard theses offences related to Reilly spitting at two police officers and a paramedic.

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

He was in a bad mood and under the influence of drink or drugs and when police officers restrained him because he was wanted in connection with the false imprisonment charge he had spat at them.

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

Recorder Huston adjourned sentence to allow the probation service to prepare a pre-sentence which will consider the issue of dangerousness.

Andrew Thompson for Reilly said that because a drug debt he 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.