A THUG tied a young father to a chair over a “drug debt” and threatened the man’s family.

Mohammed Chentouf marched William Bowden into a dormitory at the Sobo hostel in Hove and taped him up.

He took out a “Rambo-style” knife and a condom, and threatened Mr Bowden’s family over £700 he believed he was owed, Hove Crown Court heard.

Mr Bowden previously told the court he had dealt drugs for Chentouf and was so scared he fled through a window of the hostel, right.

A fortnight earlier, Chentouf had sped at 70mph through 20mph zones around the Hanover area of Brighton.

The 22-year-old went through red lights and on the wrong side of the road before abandoning the BMW.

Police said Chentouf was intoxicated and it is believed he was high on heroin, the court heard.

Judge David Rennie jailed him for four years after he admitted false imprisonment.

The judge also imposed a one-year concurrent sentence after he admitted dangerous driving. He was given a three-year ban.

Mr Bowden gave evidence and described how Chentouf had taped him up around his legs, arms and stomach in April this year.

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

Chentouf, 22, of Beaufort Street, Kensington, denied any connection to drugs and denied calling his friend “Olly” as his “enforcer”.

But his account was rejected. Judge Rennie said: “It is quite clear that drugs lie behind what happened in that hotel room.”

The judge also said there must have been a knife present to have caused so much fear for Mr Bowden to flee.

Ishan Dave, defending, said Chentouf had been affected badly by the death of his mother at the age of 17, and had fallen in with the wrong crowd. He said Chentouf was genuinely remorseful and sorry for his actions.

Judge Rennie said: “I recognise you have been trying to extricate yourself from the world of drugs.

“But your problem should never have become Mr Bowden’s. What happened in that hotel room is not nearly as bad as it could have been.

“Your dangerous driving was appalling, you were clearly under the influence of opiates.”