Depraved duo who brutally assaulted victim in his Sheffield home have jail terms extended

Matthew Ward and Marcus Cullumbine
Matthew Ward and Marcus Cullumbine
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A depraved duo who imprisoned their vulnerable victim in his Sheffield home, where they brutally tortured him over the course of a month, have had their sentences increased.

Matthew Ward and Marcus Cullumbine befriended the 40-year-old and moved in to his home in Westfield before subjected him to weeks of sickening abuse.

Matthew Ward, whose sentence was extended to 19 years

Matthew Ward, whose sentence was extended to 19 years

He was locked in a cupboard, punched and kicked in the head, attacked with a Stanley knife and burnt with various weapons before he eventually managed to escape.

Ward, then aged 23, and Cullumbine, then 20, were found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court of false imprisonment and wounding, and were jailed in December for 16 years and 11 years respectively.

Their sentences were today increased by the Court of Appeal, meaning Ward will now serve 19 years and Cullumbine 13-and-a-half.

Solicitor General Robert Buckland had appealed against the original sentences which he felt were unduly lenient.

Marcus Cullumbine will now serve a 13-and-a-half year jail term

Marcus Cullumbine will now serve a 13-and-a-half year jail term

He said: "I am pleased the Court of Appeal has increased the sentences today. The offenders exploited the victim's vulnerability and subjected him to a series of brutal assaults while imprisoning him in his own home.

"I hope that their sentences send a clear message to anyone despicable enough to consider abusing a vulnerable member of their community – you will not escape justice."

Ward, of Garland Croft, Westfield, and Cullumbine, of Haigh Moor Way, Swallownest, moved in with their victim in 2017 before subjected him to an increasingly depraved series of attacks.

On one occasion, Ward punched the man in the face after claiming he owed him money for disposing of a box of latex gloves.

Another time, the victim was kept in a cupboard for five hours while Ward's friends visited his home, fearful that if he tried to leave he would be assaulted again.

The most serious attack started when he was again locked in the cupboard, which was this time bolted shut. He was later punched in the face, kicked in the head, attacked with a Stanley knife and burnt with various weapons, before being shut in the cupboard again overnight.

He managed to escape his tormentors the next day after claiming he had to collect a prescription and not doing so would arouse suspicion.

They let him go but threatened to harm his brother if he reported the attacks.

The chemist called the emergency services, who found the victim had serious wounds including broken ribs and extensive burns.

A third man, 18-year-old Shakaiyah Swindells, of Shortbrook Drive, Westfield, was also jailed for his role in the abuse.

He too was found guilty of false imprisonment and wounding, and was sentenced in December to seven years behind bars.

The solicitor general has also lodged an appeal to get his sentence extended, which is due to be heard at a later date.