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Kidnap trial resumes

PUBLISHED: 23:21 06 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:49 03 March 2010

ALLEGED Ipswich drug dealer Chudi Eze and an associate kidnapped and allegedly held a hot iron to the face of a man they claimed owed them £400, a court heard today.

ALLEGED Ipswich drug dealer Chudi Eze and an associate kidnapped and allegedly held a hot iron to the face of a man they claimed owed them £400, a court heard today.

The trial of Eze, 22, of Beaconsfield Road, and Sebastian Lawrence, of no fixed address, resumed today at Norwich Crown Court.

They have both denied falsely imprisoning Muhidin Muhidin on the same date.

At the start of the trial the court heard from John Farmer, prosecuting, that Muhidin and a friend had gone to Ipswich and agreed to work for Eze as runners delivering drugs for him.

They were given a mobile phone an a car to use in making deliveries and worked for a week to a week and a half, taking about £1,400 and day and getting paid between £100 and £150 each themselves.

Muhidin then decided he no longer wanted to work as a runner for heroin and crack cocaine and giving evidence today via a video link claimed he had returned the remaining stocks of drugs and £360 to Lawrence before leaving.

He told the court he had received threatening phone calls from Eze telling him: "Just watch your back. If I catch you, you are dead".

Mr Farmer continued that when Muhidin, now living in Norwich, visited Ipswich last September, Eze, Lawrence and a third man had taken him to a house in Woolverstone Close, Ipswich, where they had strip searched him, demanded money, and had then beaten him up.

He was later taken to another house in Kingston Road, where the ordeal continued.

Allegedly a hot iron was put against his face, he was struck in the mouth, forced to drink urine and had the muzzle of a gun put in his mouth. The victim was terrified.

He finally managed to escape at about 4.30am and run to a friend's house, where he called the police.

CCTV footage will be shown of him arriving with his captors at a house in Samuel Court, where Muhidin claimed his cash card was.

Trainers and track suit bottoms stained with Muhidin's blood were found at Eze's home, a gold chain taken from him, and an imitation gun.

Both defendants admit being present but claim they took no part in the proceedings.

Eze is nicknamed "Shogun" – a big, powerful man.

Giving evidence Muhidin told how the morning after he met Eze he was given 144 wraps of heroin and told: "You guys are going to make serious money from now on. Make sure you get everything right all the time. Don't mess me about."

The trial continues.

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