Men who kept two people chained to radiators and forced them to eat from dog bowls jailed for nearly 20 years

Men who held two people captive for nearly two weeks and subjected them to "barbaric treatment" in a Sheffield house have been jailed for almost 20 years.

South Yorkshire Police said armed officers found two men who were forced to eat from dog bowls chained to radiators in separate rooms in a house on Firth Park Road on 14 May 2022.

The force descended on the house after receiving concerning information two Albanian men were being held against their will there.

Andi Alushi, 27, and Valdemaras Kasinskas, 39, were sentenced to 19-and-a-half years on Tuesday at Sheffield Crown Court after they pleaded guilty to two counts of false imprisonment.

Police said the two victims in the house were starved for days and one of the men had severe burn injuries to his hand after being assaulted and scalded.

They added that upon seeing the armed officers, the man could only mutter "thank you".

Police said the motive for Kasinskas and Alushi's "sadistic crimes" was to "elicit money from the victims' families back in Albania".

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Oughton, who led the investigation, said: "What officers found inside that house was deeply disturbing, clear evidence two people had been kept prisoner and subjected to absolutely barbaric treatment.

"Torture is the only word to describe what Kasinskas and Alushi did to one of the victims, giving him violent beatings and burning him with scalding liquid, causing significant burn injuries.

"As we dug deeper into this horrific case, we learned the motive for Kasinskas and Alushi's sadistic crimes was to elicit money from the victims’ families back in Albania.

"The pair blamed the victims for one of their cannabis warehouses being dismantled - a clear indication of their involvement in organised criminality and large-scale drugs supply - and as such, filmed the victims enduring humiliating and degrading treatment in the hope they could blackmail their families."

The force described the investigation as "lengthy and complex".