Published: 12:16, 01 August 2018
Two sadistic thugs tortured a woman by pouring a kettle of boiling water over her head after claiming she owed them money for drugs, a court heard.
Samantha Caulfield, 48, was left in agony from burns to her back and shoulders but was too terrified to either seek medical treatment or go to the police.
She also suffered a fractured eye socket, cheekbone and finger from being punched and kicked in her Sheerness home by Dean Price and Sharif Flanders.
Jailing them each for three years and nine months, a judge said of the victim: “She must have endured excruciating pain. She described in her statement how she thought she might be killed.
“She was left with scars across her back and shoulders. The injuries were disfiguring at the time. They have healed but also left her with psychological damage.”
Price and Flanders, both 21, had denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent but pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm – the maximum sentence for which is five years – on the second day of their trial.
Flanders also admitted possessing cocaine and was jailed for a month to run consecutively.
Maidstone Crown Court was told the pair targeted Miss Caulfield, who was withdrawing from drugs, by arranging to stay at her flat in Short Street.
She received a call from Flanders, known as Chef, in the early hours of February 3 this year and soon afterwards arrived with Price, who called himself Ben.
Prosecutor Bridget Todd said they gave her a bag of cocaine for allowing them to stay, but the next morning Price told her she owed them £50 for it.
She did not have the money and they told her to contact her partner to get it. She could not get hold of him.
Price, of no fixed address, and Flanders, of Silver Street, Edmonton, north London, became angry and punched and kicked her.
Price then went into the kitchen and boiled a kettle before pouring the water over her head. He had added sugar to it to make it stick to her skin.
“It ran down her neck and blistered her skin,” said Miss Todd. “She didn’t know what to do. She was scared of the defendants. She couldn’t get hold of her partner and couldn’t ring the police. She let them stay.”
Her partner arrived the next day and she told him what had happened. She said: “They have terrorised me and tortured me.”
"They called me names and punched and kicked me in the face and head...” - Samantha Caulfield
Price and Flanders returned in the evening and wanted Miss Caulfield’s partner to buy £200 worth of cocaine. He said he would sort it out and went to withdraw the money.
He handed over the cash and the two men eventually left. The next day a housing officer visited and saw that Miss Caulfield was covered in injuries, including blisters to her shoulders.
The police arrested Flanders in Sheerness High Street. Price was arrested at an address in Richmond Street. Miss Caulfield picked them out of an identity procedure.
Miss Todd said the victim had been assaulted three weeks earlier and suffered a broken jaw. Neither Price nor Flanders was responsible for that attack.
She suffered three per cent burns at their hands and was treated at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead.
She said in evidence of the boiling water being poured over her: “It is worse than fire. You can’t stand still when someone pours boiling water over you.
“They got very nasty with me. They beat me, both of them. They called me names and punched and kicked me in the face and head.”
Asked if she knew why, she replied: “No, not really. I think they were just bored. I didn’t say anything. I was too scared. They were egging each other on.
“They boiled the kettle. They put sugar in it. They made me lie on the floor. They poured it all over my head. I was so frightened.”
She said in a victim statement she allowed Price and Flanders to come and go because she was petrified and felt she had no choice.
“She felt the nightmare was never going to end,” said Miss Todd. “She felt like she was being tortured in her own home. She was scared to call the police or an ambulance.
“She was in so much pain. She tried to treat the injuries herself as best she could. She described the burns on her back as being awful. The burns are healing well but have left scars across her back and shoulders.
“She is grateful the water did not go on her face. She would have been devastated if her face and chest had been scarred. She described how she looked disfigured.
“It has affected her self-esteem and confidence. She is scared to go out.”
Miss Todd said Flanders had six previous convictions for 16 offences, including robbery and supplying drugs.
“It has affected her self-esteem and confidence. She is scared to go out" - prosecutor Bridget Todd
Price had six previous convictions for nine offences including inflicting grievous bodily harm in 2012 and robbery and burglary in 2015.
Both Flanders and Price were on licence at the time of the latest offence and were recalled to prison. Time spent on remand will not, therefore, count towards the sentence.
Danny Moore, for Flanders, told the court there was little that could be said in a case of such seriousness. Flanders had been put into care in London at the age of seven.
Nick Martin, for Price, said his client had started a violence reduction course in prison. “It is plainly something he needs to focus on,” he added.
Passing sentence, Judge Heather Baucher said.”What occurred that day was a sustained and repeated gratuitous assault on Miss Caulfield. You targeted her because of her vulnerability.
“You punched and kicked her. Not being satisfied with that, you decided you were going to boil a kettle and add sugar to the contents...because you know don’t you it sticks to the skin.”
The judge added: “The public may feel satisfied you have been recalled on licence. I am satisfied you both played a full and active role in what occurred.”
An indefinite restraining order, banning contact with the victim and her partner, was imposed.