Merseyside gang jailed for 37 years for 'brutal' torture of pair over cannabis farm

Credit: Merseyside Police

A gang who falsely imprisoned and brutally tortured two men for five hours has been jailed for almost four decades.

Shawn O’Malley, Billy McColl, and David Scurfield were handed a combined total of 37 years at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday 3 August.

It is thought the thugs attacked the men they believed to be responsible for the theft of cannabis from a drugs farm.

Shortly after 8.15pm on Monday 14 September 2020, officers were called to Crab Street, St Helens, to reports of two men in their 30s being assaulted.

The victims were threatened with guns, tied up and attacked with weapons including an axe and hammers during the attack at a premises in the Garswood area.

Credit: Liverpool Echo

A substance, believed to be was acid, was also thrown at them, although analysis confirmed was non-corrosive. 

Both victims were taken to hospital for treatment of multiple injuries, including fractures.

Shawn O’Malley, 32, of Withers Avenue, Orford was sentenced to 18 years in prison plus five on extended licence for two counts of section 18 wounding, two counts of false imprisonment and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence

David Scurfield, 32, from Burtonwood was sentenced to nine years in prison for two counts of false imprisonment and two counts of section 18 wounding

Billy McColl, 19, of Henshall Avenue, Latchwood, Warrington was sentenced to 10 years in prison for two counts of section 18 wounding, two counts of false imprisonment and possession of a firearm seized in Warrington.

Credit: Liverpool Echo

Detective Constable Phil Poynton said: “This was a brutal and sustained attack which resulted in serious injuries, threats and was a deeply traumatic experience for both victims to go through. “The production, storage and supply of drugs can, as in this case, lead to threats, violence and significant harm being caused in our communities.

"Cannabis use is far from being a victimless crime, and this case is a stark reminder that when people buy drugs, even in small quantities, there exists a whole supply chain where organised criminals profit from the fear and misery they spread.“If you have any information about such activity, please call 999 if a crime is in process, or pass information on in one of the following ways, and we will take action.”