Glasgow & West Scotland

Douglas and Welsh jailed for torturing John Alcroft

Two men have been jailed for kidnapping and torturing another man for two days because he owed them money.

Mark Douglas, 34, and Peter Welsh, 48, admitted abducting and seriously assaulting 25-year-old John Alcroft at a flat in Ardrossan in March.

They "blow torched" his face with a lit deodorant spray, threw chemicals at him and put soap powder in a stab wound.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Douglas was jailed for seven and half years and Welsh was jailed for four years.

At the earlier hearing, the High Court in Glasgow heard how Mr Alcroft and Douglas had once been on "friendly terms".

Debt owed

However, last summer, Douglas assaulted Mr Alcroft which led to him dropping from a second storey window, fracturing three ribs and breaking his heel.

Douglas was also said to be "owed a debt" and he further suspected Mr Alcroft of stealing from him.

On 9 March this year, Mr Alcroft met Douglas and Welsh, who offered to give him a lift into Glasgow to buy his mother a birthday present.

The court heard that during the journey Douglas said they had to go back to his flat in Ardrossan.

The men arrived at the property and, the court heard, Douglas' attitude to Mr Alcroft "suddenly changed".

When Mr Alcroft decided to leave Douglas told him he was not getting out.

He and Welsh followed the victim into the kitchen before grabbing him and rifling through his wallet.

They took £480 before repeatedly punching and kicking Mr Alcroft.

In the early hours of the next morning, Douglas slashed Mr Alcroft on the leg before tightening the victim's belt around the cut which caused him to pass out.

Electric shocks

Later that day, Mr Alcroft was repeatedly whipped with a bike chain and tied to a chair with a knife held at his throat.

Douglas hit Mr Alcroft across the face with a bottle, breaking his nose. He next poured soap powder into an open wound before repeatedly lighting a deodorant spray burning his victim's face.

Douglas also gave Mr Alcroft electric shocks from a battery attached to crocodile clips.

Mr Alcroft finally managed to escape while his two attackers were asleep. He went to nearby cafe where witnesses dialled 999.

The court was told the victim had "horrific injuries" including burns, stab wounds and facial fractures.

Mr Alcroft was able to tell police that Douglas had been responsible.

Jailing both men, judge Lord Bannatyne said the imposition of a lengthy custodial term was the only appropriate way to deal with them.

He added: "This was a vicious sustained and significant attack which must have been terrifying for your victim."

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