A Northampton man who was locked in a bedroom and attacked for an hour by a gay couple says he feared he was about to be killed.
The victim, who requested anonymity, was lured to a house in Home Farm Close, Little Billing, by Jordan Bridge-Simmons and Tyrone Platt for a complex robbery, using a social networking app called Grindr.
There the naked pair beat him up in a darkened bedroom for an hour, during which time they scraped two machetes together to increase his fear.
The man said: “I have never in my life hit anyone and I’d never been hit.
“I was so frightened. I can’t put into words how terrified I was.
“When they brought the knives out in the dark you could hear them scraping them together. I thought I was going to be killed, I really did.”
The victim, a middle-aged man, was beaten so badly by the 20-year-olds that he suffered a bruised diaphragm.
“You see these programmes about victims of rape and assault where they say try to remember as much as you can,” he said, “and that’s all I was fixated on. I was taking what they were giving to me and trying to remember every step of the way.”
Bridge-Simmons, whose mother’s house was used for the plot, led the victim to the top of the stairs and kicked his legs from under him, sending them both tumbling into the hallway.
At that point, the man’s phone, which had earlier been snatched from him, fell out of Bridge-Simmons’ pocket.
He decided to conceal it, but instantly began to regret his action.
“I grabbed it. It was just an instantaneous reaction. For some security and because it was mine.
“But I was frightened all the way along that a message or spam email would come through and what might happen to me if they found out.”
The victim was escorted to a cash machine where Platt made him withdraw £300.
When they returned to the house, they saw a drunken Bridge-Simmons had crashed the victim’s car into a neighbour’s Mini Cooper, which then ploughed into its owner’s house.
The pair were later arrested in hospital and this week were each sentenced to six years in jail for false imprisonment. “I don’t hate them because hate is a strong thing,” the victim said.
“I kind of feel sorry for them, really.
“I’ve been in the airforce and worked since I was 13 and have got a good job and comfortable lifestyle. I’ve not been in care.
“But it doesn’t give them an excuse. What’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. Everyone knows the difference.”
The victim says nobody deserved the ordeal he endured.
He said: “Irrespective of how you meet, chatting to someone online is no different from walking up to someone at the pub.
“Nobody deserves to be robbed and beaten up like that.”
Recorder Geoffrey Kelly said the pair had targeted older gay men, whom they believed would be too embarrassed by the suggestive messages that led to the meetings to report the robbery.
The pair will not be released until they have served four years in jail.