A FATHER fled out of a window after being tied to a chair with parcel tape in a hostel room.

William Bowden said he was threatened with a knife by Mohammed Chentouf at SoBo guest house in Hove.

He said Chentouf had threatened to kill his baby daughter in a row over an alleged drugs debt.

At Hove Crown Court, Chentouf admitted false imprisonment, but claimed Mr Bowden had “exaggerated” the circumstances.

Naomi Edwards, prosecuting, said the incident took place on April 8 at the guest house in Seafield Road, Hove.

Mr Bowden had been using temporary accommodation and friends’ homes to stay, and Chentouf was looking for him.

He did not believe he owed Chentouf any money, but when he was led upstairs into a dormitory, the gravity of his situation dawned on him as he was told there was no way out.

Testifying in the witness box, Mr Bowden said: “I was working for him, selling drugs. I thought his friend was ripping him off and blaming it on me, that’s why the whole incident occurred.

“There were a lot of thoughts going through my mind, this cannot be good, whatever it is. He took out a Rambo style knife and a condom from his rucksack, and told me his friend was on his way.

“He used brown parcel tape to tie me to the chair around my legs, arms, and stomach.”

It was as Chentouf’s “friend” Olly arrived downstairs that Mr Bowden decided to make his escape out of the window.

He was later found by residents who said he looked “shaken” after he had clambered over garden fences.

David Parvin, defending, asked Mr Bowden about the night, and suggested instead that he had willingly gone to the room, and then been freed by Chentouf.

Mr Parvin accused Mr Bowden of taking money from Chentouf and being “evasive”.

He said: “You are exaggerating this story, that is why you can’t remember what the threats were.”

Chentouf, 22, of Beaufort Street, Kensington, also testified.

He denied that Olly was his “enforcer” and said Olly was in fact a closer friend to Mr Bowden.

Chentouf said the £700 was not a payment over drugs, he claimed instead to have handed over cash to Mr Bowden who had promised to make him a £500 profit as an entrepreneur who made money from “machines”.

He said he had got into difficulty from a car rental company after being caught driving dangerously in a BMW in Brighton.

But he accepted that he had tied up Mr Bowden in frustration about not getting his money back, although he denied possessing a knife.

Judge David Rennie was not impressed by his explanation and said Chentouf was not a reliable witness.

He said: “It is overwhelmingly likely that the background relates to drug dealing that had gone wrong.

“We know something happened in that room, with Mr Bowden deciding he had no choice other than leaving

the hotel via a first floor window.

“There was a knife, but it was never used to threaten, but threats were made to Mr Bowden and his daughter.”

Chentouf faces sentencing for false imprisonment and other matters on June 28.