Essex men 'locked Ipswich woman in London loft'

Ipswich crown court with road sign

Two men have gone on trial accused of false imprisonment, kidnap and blackmail - Credit: Archant

Two Essex men allegedly locked an Ipswich woman in a loft at a London home and tried to blackmail a man she was living with, a jury heard. 

The woman, Minique Rivett, was allegedly denied food and water and only managed to escape when she broke out and ran to a neighbour's house for help, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

Miss Rivett went to the house in Tottenham voluntarily but prosecutor Marc Brown told the jury there was "no doubt" that once she was inside the loft she was "held against her will". 

Demands were also made to the man Miss Rivett and her mother shared a house with in Spring Road, Ipswich, to settle an alleged debt, Mr Brown said. 

Louie Charles, 21, of Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, and Tye Parker, 22, of Burr Close, Harwich, have gone on trial charged with two counts of false imprisonment, and single offences of kidnap and blackmail. 

Parker is also facing further charges of robbery and aggravated burglary following a separate earlier alleged incident that acted as "a catalyst" for the other alleged offences, Mr Brown told the court.  

Opening the prosecution case on Wednesday, Mr Brown told the jury it was "a complicated saga" of "serious offending" between February 19 and March 16, 2019. 

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The court heard how a man was driving a hired white Mercedes in Colchester on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, when a black hatchback came out of a side road and cut him off. 

The victim, who lived in Dagenham, noticed a handgun being pointed at him and three men then got out of the car and made demands that he open the door. 

He was then attacked and the trio stole an iPhone, the car keys to the Mercedes and the man's shoes. 

The victim managed to escape and was later picked up by a friend.

On his way home, he learnt that his house in Dagenham, where he lived with his family, had been broken into by three men - two of whom have not been identified. 

One of the men, alleged to be Parker, was carrying a handgun, the court heard. Boxes of Nike and Puma trainers were stolen in the burglary. 

Mr Brown said it is the prosecution case is that the trio found out the man's address from his driving licence in the Mercedes and made their way to Dagenham. 

Following that incident, Miss Rivett's mother, who knew Parker, was instructed to dispose of the Mercedes in London but she "failed to complete the task", Mr Brown told the jury. 

Miss Rivett's mother told police she was in debt with Parker over some cocaine for a "few hundred pounds" but demands were then made for £10,000, Mr Brown told the jury. 

Miss Rivett then went to the house in Tottenham on March 4 and escaped on March 8, the court heard. 

Charles and Parker are further accused of kidnapping Laurel Aiken, who lived at the flat in Tottenham, and falsely imprisoning him at an address in Wolverhampton. 

Charles and Parker, who refused to answer police questions in interview, deny all the charges. 

The trial, which is expected to last two to three weeks, continues. 

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