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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 January 2006, 19:51 GMT
Three jailed for torture attack
Three men who took part in a violent attack at a restaurant have each been jailed for nine years.

Joe Smith, 30, told the Old Bailey he was offered his own blood to drink while being tortured at the New Saigon restaurant in Southwark, south London.

He and a friend were attacked when they were mistaken for police officers.

Restaurant owner Ngoc Le, Paul Efayena and Gary Bartley were found guilty of false imprisonment, grevious bodily harm and blackmail on Wednesday.

He mopped up some blood, squeezed it into a bowl and took a cup from what he had mopped up
Joe Smith

Le, 41, of Marathon Way, Thamesmead, Bartley, 33, of Upper Tulse Hill, Brixton and Efayena, 27, of Glengall Road, Peckham, all south London, were found not guilty of possessing a firearm.

John Theo, 33, was cleared of all charges.

The court heard Mr Smith, a former asylum seeker, and Peter Dennis had gone to the restaurant in January 2005 to buy fake British passports.

'Chopped into pieces'

After being mistaken for police officers they were beaten with baseball bats and tortured in an ordeal that lasted several hours.

Mr Smith was told during his ordeal that he was going to be "chopped into pieces", shovelled into bin liners and dumped "where no one could find him".

Jurors heard that when he begged for a glass of water, he was offered a cup with his own blood in it.

"He mopped up some blood, squeezed it into a bowl and took a cup from what he had mopped up....but I refused to drink it so he threw it in my face," said Mr Smith.

The pair, who were gagged and bound with electric wire, managed to escape and attract the attention of passers-by who alerted the police.

Mr Smith was left with a fractured skull, broken leg and shattered forearm after the attack.


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