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Yousif Elias and Alula Tegegne plead guilty to kidnapping and assault

A kidnapper masqueraded as a police officer and filmed himself whipping his hostage with an electrical cord in a drug deal gone wrong.

After using the cable, taken from an airconditioning unit, to lash his victim across the head, body and legs, Yousif Elias then reached for a fire extinguisher, yelling “I’m going to f—ing kill him”.

He also threatened that he would jail the victim for 12 years if he didn’t comply with his demands to set him up with his dealer and two bags of ice.

Elias, who was on a cocktail of ice, Xanax and cannabis and had not slept for three days, alongside his mate, Alula Tegegne, dragged the homeless victim into a basement carpark to attack him about lunch time on May 1, 2020.

The 3 ½-hour brutish ordeal took place after Elias and Tegegne, both 19, had buyer’s remorse after swapping 0.1g of cocaine for a Xanax tablet with the victim at a Melbourne hotel the night before.

When the duo ran into the victim, also 19, on the street the next morning, Elias demanded he give back the cocaine.

The victim said he would organise some cocaine for him, but when the dealer showed up, he quickly left on realising Elias had no cash to pay him.

Elias and Tegegne then turned on the victim, taking him into the underground carpark where he was thrown to the ground and punched and kicked.

When he went to get up, Elias fly kicked him to the head to knock him back down.

It was only when Tegegne put his hand out to stop Elias, who was brandishing the fire extinguisher, that the vicious assault was halted.

While Elias went to get drinks and cigarettes, Tegegne made the victim log in to his banking to prove he had no money.

It showed he had just 43 cents to his name.

But Elias and Tegegne persisted, later escorting him to the Commonwealth bank in Footscray so he could withdraw his Centrelink payment.

Due to Covid restrictions, the two teen hoodlums were made to stay outside while their victim went into the bank, allowing him to alert staff he was being held hostage.

No-one was charged over the incident until July when police raided a Campbellfield property and arrested Elias on separate offending.

It was when trawling his seized phone that police uncovered four disturbing videos on Snapchat depicting the May 1 whipping onslaught.

Elias and Tegegne, who was later arrested and also found to have footage of the assault on his phone, both pleaded guilty to kidnapping and assault.

County Court judge Sarah Leighfield said the kidnapping would have been “terrifying” for the victim, who detailed to the court how he suffers flashbacks and panic attacks, does not trust people anymore and is always looking over his shoulder.

On Monday, Judge Leighfield sentenced Elias to nine months jail, meaning with time already served he would be released immediately.

She ordered he be of good behaviour for 12 months and donate $400 to Melbourne City Mission, a charity that supports those who are homeless.

Tegegne was earlier jailed for five months and released on an 18-month community correction order.



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