Three jailed for sadistic eight-hour torture of teenage girl made to act like a dog

Amy Gaines, James Canning and Jay Blades
Amy Gaines, James Canning and Jay Blades
  • Trio subjected vulnerable victim to eight-and-half hour ordeal in Doncaster flat
  • One of the gang filmed the sickening torture as a ‘birthday present’ to himself
  • Attack only stopped when fourth friend called over to ‘finish the job’ called ambulance
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A girl aged 17 was tortured in a flat for eight-and-a-half hours by three people she thought were friends.

The teenager was beaten with a chain and piece of wood and slapped, kicked and punched during her ordeal at the hands of one woman and two men.

The degrading assault also involved her being spat on, having drinks poured over her and being made to act like a dog.

One of her attackers filmed and ‘directed’ the attacks as a ‘birthday wish’ to himself.

Details of the appalling assault at a flat on St James Street in the town centre on the morning of December 22 were revealed at Sheffield Crown Court as the girl’s three attackers, all aged either 19 or 20 at the time, were sent to jail.

The girl had been at her boyfriend’s house and at 2am went to the St James Street flat of her acquaintance Jay Blades in the hope of staying there overnight as it was too late to return to her parents’ home.

Amy Gaines

Amy Gaines

Blades was in the flat with James Canning and Amy Gaines and the court heard the group started teasing the girl about her boyfriend cheating on her.

When the girl responded by making a negative comment about Gaines’ abilities as a mother, Gaines pushed her against a wall and started hitting her.

After the girl tried to ring her boyfriend for help, the group smashed her phone and carried out a horrendous and prolonged attack.

Gaines attacked her, hitting her numerous times and dragging her about by her hair. Blades held the girl’s arms back while Gaines repeatedly punched her in the face, while Canning filmed the attack on his phone, instructing Gaines to use ‘martial arts’ moves on their victim.

James Canning

James Canning

John Harrison, prosecuting, said: “Gaines got a thick metal chain and hit her with it countless times.

“Gaines said she knew martial arts and started kicking her in the face and legs. Canning was telling her to do certain kicks and moves and said it was his birthday wish.”

Blades also punched and kicked the victim and spat in her hair. He then put the girl’s hand on the Bible ‘and made her swear not to tell anybody what had happened’.

Mr Harrison said: “The victim was passing out and didn’t know if she was going to make it. She had two to three panic attacks.”

Jay Blades

Jay Blades

The incident only came to an end when the group called a fourth friend over at 10.30am to ‘finish the job’ on the victim – only for her to call an ambulance for the badly-injured girl instead.

The trio then followed the victim to the hospital, after they had instructed the girl to tell the police she had been attacked in the street.

But they were overheard by a hospital worker discussing the need to delete their videos and photos from the night.

The court heard at the time of the offence Canning had been out on bail after making a 15-year-old girl pregnant.

All three were sentenced after pleading guilty to false imprisonment and wounding.

Canning also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of sexual activity with a child.

Barristers for each of the three defendants said their clients had ‘difficult’ childhoods and struggled to cope with adult life.

Sentencing, Judge Julian Goose said: “It was a prolonged and degrading attack upon her, leaving her helpless and defenceless.

“This was an appalling episode of cruel and violent behaviour to a vulnerable woman made vulnerable by what you had done to her over a period of eight hours.

“This dreadful incident came to an end when someone else came to the flat and rather than join in as you wanted her to do, called an ambulance.

“It does not take a great deal of imagination to see how this must have affected by what you did to her.

“Each of you are relatively young but these offences are serious.”

Gaines, 21, of Thrybergh Court, Denaby, and Canning, 20, of Plantation Close, Askern, were sentenced to five years in a Young Offenders’ Institution.

Blades, 20, of St James Street, Doncaster, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in a Young Offenders’ Institution.

The three spent much of the sentencing hearing looking at the floor in the dock, with Gaines in tears as her sentence was read out.

Blades was heard shouting ‘No!’ as he was led out of court to the cells.