A man from Gateshead has been jailed after blackmailing his vulnerable neighbour and threatening to hurt him unless he handed over his savings.
Scott Steanson, 33, has been jailed for four years and 10 months, and his accomplice Liam Smith, 28, received a 15-month custodial term at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday (13 September).
Steanson and Smith preyed on the victim, who is in his 50s, for months.
On one occasion, they had savagely attacked the victim, punching him in the face and biting his ear, before ordering him to withdraw more money.
Fearing of the repercussions, the victim kept quiet about his ordeal until a concerned friend noticed his injuries in January this year and asked what was wrong.
Northumbria Polices' Detective Constable Mark Turnbull, who led the investigation, said: "[Steanson] bullied his victim and believed he would be too scared to report it, due to his threats of violence.
“I would like to thank the victim in this case for his outstanding bravery, as well as the key witnesses who came forward and helped secure this positive outcome.
Detective Constable Turnball also urged people to "continue to look out for those in your community."