Kidnap victim Marc Williams has spoken about the impact of the ordeal on his physical and mental well-being including his broken leg, not being able to look in the mirror and how he suffers from nightmares and paranoia.
The three masked gang members who kidnapped Mr Williams from his Huntington home in Chester have just been jailed at Chester Crown Court for a total of 38 years for offences including kidnap and GBH with intent.
Mr Williams was rendered unconscious with CS gas and a stun gun, tied up, beaten up and had a shotgun placed in his mouth at a secluded spot near Chester Zoo in a bid to extort money from him. His mother and teenage sister were visited by two of the masked gang members at their home in Hoole.
In his own words, Mr Williams wrote in his victim impact statement: “I go to bed and struggle to get to sleep, thinking about the incident and reliving it. When I do eventually get to sleep I wake up every hour sweating having had a nightmare about the ordeal I went through.”
Mr Williams, who was prescribed sleeping tablets and has undergone counselling, said he used to be confident and would walk around the streets on his own. But since the incident he had become “very paranoid”. He now worries when he sees groups of males and finds himself looking over his shoulder.
The victim was beaten with such ferocity he was described as “almost unrecognisable” and suffered a fractured leg after a boulder was dropped on him.
Since the incident, Mr Williams said he had been suffering from “harsh thumping headaches” that prevent him from concentrating. He had several cuts on his face which had been stitched or glued and were “very painful”. He finds it “difficult to look in the mirror” because it is a reminder of exactly what had been done to him.
He was told by the hospital his left leg was broken and it was causing him “a lot of pain”. He was struggling to walk on it properly and to “do the things” he used to do.
One of the hardest aspects of the case was that he had been an acquaintance of one of the gang members, Luke John Huston, whose voice he recognised in the middle of the attack when Huston was wearing a balaclava.
“I thought this male was a friend of mine. I keep thinking if someone I think is a friend can do that to me, how can I trust anyone any more?” said Mr Williams in the statement. He was now “confused” about who his friends are and doesn’t know who to trust and who to be around.
Mr Williams said he had moved back in with his mother because she and his sister had received threats during the episode and he feared some harm was going to come to them. He worried about leaving her alone in the house.