Bound, gagged and put in a bodybag - Hastings student tells of terrifying torture

Kidnapping victim Ben Hutchings, 21, of Hastings

Kidnapping victim Ben Hutchings, 21, of Hastings

First published in News
Last updated
Exclusive by , Crime reporter

A student has told how he thought he was going to die after being tortured, gagged, stuffed in a body bag and driven to isolated woodland.

Brave Ben Hutchings, speaking exclusively to The Argus after five people were convicted of the attack on him, said “It was terrifying – I couldn’t believe it was happening” after being kidnapped by men wielding hammers.

The University of Brighton journalism undergraduate, who lives in Hastings, told how he was lured to his attackers’ home and told they were going to play the computer game Grand Theft Auto – but when he got there he was beaten with hammers and electricity leads, kicked and punched before being stuffed into the body bag.

They then loaded him into a car and drove him to Brede High Wood where they all discussed burying the student alive before they assaulted him again.

The two-hour ordeal ended when the men took their terrified victim back to Hastings and released him in the street.

He suffered broken teeth, cuts and severe bruises and had to be treated at Conquest Hospital in St Leonards following the attack on September 19 last year.

The 21-year-old also revealed how the men who kidnapped him called his girlfriend while holding a hammer to his head.

They demanded money off her and proceeded to visit the home Mr Hutchings shared with her, so she was terrified.

Speaking after brothers Sam and Alex Simon, Artur Oganesyan, Muham Muhammet "Melik" Yalcin and Jowad Ghemati were convicted in relation to the incident on Friday at Hove Crown Court, Mr Hutchings said: “It was terrifying. I thought I was going to die.

It was like a scene from a movie.

“What was worst is they involved my girlfriend.

“She was so scared.

“They held a hammer to my head and sent someone to her house. They went through my phone and deliberately picked someone they knew I loved.

“My mum was horrified and it caused a lot of stress.

“I was in hospital and the police station for 38 hours afterwards.

“It was really random and truthfully what happened has not sunk in.

“Sam Simon was a sort of friend.

“He’s only a little guy. I felt sorry for him.

“I think he owed money, I think he was panicking.

“But I will get over it. I am very headstrong.

“Everything is doable.”

After the first arrests, Ghemati, even approached Mr Hutchings and offered him thousands of pounds to drop the case.

Detective Sergeant Michael Burnage said: "The suspects attacked the victim because they decided they could get money from him quickly and easily.

"They have shown no remorse for their actions and despite the weight of evidence against them, made the victim relive the horrendous event again in court.”

Sam Simon, 21, of Earl Street, Hastings, Alex Simon, 17, of Earl Street, Hastings, , Yalcin, 20, of Kenilworth Road, St Leonards, Oganesyan, 23, of Stanley Road, Hastings, have all been convicted of false imprisonment.

Ghemati, 27, of Holmhurst Lane, St Leonards, was convicted of witness intimidation.

They were all remanded in custody to be sentenced on April 14.

Comments (17)

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8:47am Mon 17 Mar 14

s&k says...

Britain 2014. Sickening.
Britain 2014. Sickening. s&k
  • Score: 17

8:52am Mon 17 Mar 14

mickeyfinn says...

I guess (COR) means correct spelling but it wasn't supposed to show? Horrible experience and hope Mr Hutchings recovers fully.
I guess (COR) means correct spelling but it wasn't supposed to show? Horrible experience and hope Mr Hutchings recovers fully. mickeyfinn
  • Score: 12

9:16am Mon 17 Mar 14

Anna Roberts says...

Yes that is right, re COR, I have amended it. Thanks for pointing out! Anna
Yes that is right, re COR, I have amended it. Thanks for pointing out! Anna Anna Roberts
  • Score: 5

9:36am Mon 17 Mar 14

Mart says...

Far too much unwarranted sick violence in Britain today. This paper is full of these horror stories every day. When did we become such a nasty, brutally violent nation ?
Far too much unwarranted sick violence in Britain today. This paper is full of these horror stories every day. When did we become such a nasty, brutally violent nation ? Mart
  • Score: 12

9:41am Mon 17 Mar 14

Iona Ferrari says...

Mart wrote:
Far too much unwarranted sick violence in Britain today. This paper is full of these horror stories every day. When did we become such a nasty, brutally violent nation ?
when you stopped giving a toss about your neighbour
[quote][p][bold]Mart[/bold] wrote: Far too much unwarranted sick violence in Britain today. This paper is full of these horror stories every day. When did we become such a nasty, brutally violent nation ?[/p][/quote]when you stopped giving a toss about your neighbour Iona Ferrari
  • Score: 15

9:48am Mon 17 Mar 14

Sir Prised says...

Mart wrote:
Far too much unwarranted sick violence in Britain today. This paper is full of these horror stories every day. When did we become such a nasty, brutally violent nation ?
When all people consider now is rights and entitlements and say absolutely nothing about their responsibilities. Morality in Britain has been turned on it's head over recent decades, the latest example being the bizarre suggestion that all students start off with an A grade and you then only lose points if you're caught breaking the rules. Having said that, when the people at the top can't be trusted to toe the line, then the decline is hardly surprising.
[quote][p][bold]Mart[/bold] wrote: Far too much unwarranted sick violence in Britain today. This paper is full of these horror stories every day. When did we become such a nasty, brutally violent nation ?[/p][/quote]When all people consider now is rights and entitlements and say absolutely nothing about their responsibilities. Morality in Britain has been turned on it's head over recent decades, the latest example being the bizarre suggestion that all students start off with an A grade and you then only lose points if you're caught breaking the rules. Having said that, when the people at the top can't be trusted to toe the line, then the decline is hardly surprising. Sir Prised
  • Score: 16

10:12am Mon 17 Mar 14

clubrob6 says...

He should be proud of himself for going through with getting justice as it must have been very difficult,i wish him a safe and happy future.
He should be proud of himself for going through with getting justice as it must have been very difficult,i wish him a safe and happy future. clubrob6
  • Score: 29

10:33am Mon 17 Mar 14

Joshiman says...

Scum."This is England" Time the Governenment and the soft judicial system took crime seriously.
Scum."This is England" Time the Governenment and the soft judicial system took crime seriously. Joshiman
  • Score: 4

12:12pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Brighton Living says...

It's Hastings !
It's Hastings ! Brighton Living
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Mon 17 Mar 14

harrisimo says...

Brighton Living wrote:
It's Hastings !
Oh, here we go. What's your point? Are you suggesting that assaults like this only happen in Hastings and nowhere else?
[quote][p][bold]Brighton Living[/bold] wrote: It's Hastings ![/p][/quote]Oh, here we go. What's your point? Are you suggesting that assaults like this only happen in Hastings and nowhere else? harrisimo
  • Score: 0

1:20pm Mon 17 Mar 14

ThinkBrighton says...

Iona Ferrari wrote:
Mart wrote:
Far too much unwarranted sick violence in Britain today. This paper is full of these horror stories every day. When did we become such a nasty, brutally violent nation ?
when you stopped giving a toss about your neighbour
It's not about "giving a toss about your neighbour" its about have and have not, some people see a person with something and feel they have the right to take it, rather than getting off their rears and earning the money to buy it.
This blameless society needs overhauling with punishments that fit the crimes and not a light tap on the wrist. You then wouldn't have the worry that your neighbour might rob you.
[quote][p][bold]Iona Ferrari[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mart[/bold] wrote: Far too much unwarranted sick violence in Britain today. This paper is full of these horror stories every day. When did we become such a nasty, brutally violent nation ?[/p][/quote]when you stopped giving a toss about your neighbour[/p][/quote]It's not about "giving a toss about your neighbour" its about have and have not, some people see a person with something and feel they have the right to take it, rather than getting off their rears and earning the money to buy it. This blameless society needs overhauling with punishments that fit the crimes and not a light tap on the wrist. You then wouldn't have the worry that your neighbour might rob you. ThinkBrighton
  • Score: 4

2:15pm Mon 17 Mar 14

utternonsense says...

Poor guy ! Hope he and his girlfriend recover well from this horrific ordeal ! Best wishes to them both x
Poor guy ! Hope he and his girlfriend recover well from this horrific ordeal ! Best wishes to them both x utternonsense
  • Score: 12

5:29pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Iona Ferrari says...

ThinkBrighton wrote:
Iona Ferrari wrote:
Mart wrote:
Far too much unwarranted sick violence in Britain today. This paper is full of these horror stories every day. When did we become such a nasty, brutally violent nation ?
when you stopped giving a toss about your neighbour
It's not about "giving a toss about your neighbour" its about have and have not, some people see a person with something and feel they have the right to take it, rather than getting off their rears and earning the money to buy it.
This blameless society needs overhauling with punishments that fit the crimes and not a light tap on the wrist. You then wouldn't have the worry that your neighbour might rob you.
in other words, giving a toss about your neighbour.
[quote][p][bold]ThinkBrighton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Iona Ferrari[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mart[/bold] wrote: Far too much unwarranted sick violence in Britain today. This paper is full of these horror stories every day. When did we become such a nasty, brutally violent nation ?[/p][/quote]when you stopped giving a toss about your neighbour[/p][/quote]It's not about "giving a toss about your neighbour" its about have and have not, some people see a person with something and feel they have the right to take it, rather than getting off their rears and earning the money to buy it. This blameless society needs overhauling with punishments that fit the crimes and not a light tap on the wrist. You then wouldn't have the worry that your neighbour might rob you.[/p][/quote]in other words, giving a toss about your neighbour. Iona Ferrari
  • Score: 5

5:34pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Grumpy0ldman says...

Mart wrote:
Far too much unwarranted sick violence in Britain today. This paper is full of these horror stories every day. When did we become such a nasty, brutally violent nation ?
Stone Ages mate. It goes back many years
[quote][p][bold]Mart[/bold] wrote: Far too much unwarranted sick violence in Britain today. This paper is full of these horror stories every day. When did we become such a nasty, brutally violent nation ?[/p][/quote]Stone Ages mate. It goes back many years Grumpy0ldman
  • Score: 5

5:37pm Mon 17 Mar 14

LeonBIank666 says...

There has to be more to this than meets the eye.
There has to be more to this than meets the eye. LeonBIank666
  • Score: 0

6:46pm Mon 17 Mar 14

inmegarden says...

Hello Ben
A traumatic life experience such as this has the potential to disrupt future natural development (to put it succinctly, PDST may occur), I STRONGLY suggest you investigate the net re. MDMA and PTSD
Good Luck
Hello Ben A traumatic life experience such as this has the potential to disrupt future natural development (to put it succinctly, PDST may occur), I STRONGLY suggest you investigate the net re. MDMA and PTSD Good Luck inmegarden
  • Score: 3

4:37am Tue 18 Mar 14

dead by dawn says...

I don't think it was about money . ?
I don't think it was about money . ? dead by dawn
  • Score: -2

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