A Liverpool escort and her former lover have been jailed for a total of 27 years after they blindfolded, bound and gagged a "lonely" pensioner before robbing him and locking him in a cellar.

A jury at Liverpool Crown Court heard how Susan Garside, who advertised herself on adult websites as "Summer Blackvelvet", and ex-lover Anthony Miller launched a brutal robbery of the man in November 2016.

The pensioner, who has not been identified, only escaped after neighbours heard him screaming from the cellar, and police were called to the property.

It was stated during the trial that Garside, 53, had began speaking to the man on the Adultwork.com website popular with sex workers.

The man had been advised to seek company by staff looking after his wife, who is a dementia sufferer, saying that he must have a "life outside the nursing home".

The jury heard that Garside's violent ex-boyfriend, Miller, 49, had warned the pensioner to stay away but he had ignored the threats and arranged to meet Garside at her home in Walton. Once at the property he was brutally attacked by three masked men, one of whom was Miller.

Threatened with a knife

The elderly man was blindfolded, gagged, bound by his hands and feet and threatened with a knife, with the attackers saying they would mutilate or blind him, if he did not cooperate with their demands.

He was punched, and cut in the neck and ears with a knife, according to the Liverpool Echo, and two bank cards, a watch and his car keys stolen from his pockets, before he was taken to the cellar.

The pensioner said during the trial earlier this month: "I was put on a single mattress. It stank. As far as I could tell the mattress was damp. I was left there, the door was closed and it was in darkness.

"They kept coming back. There were two visits from Tony where again he made these threats about stabbing me and I would lose my eyes.

"One thing I remember specifically from Tony; he said I would live. But obviously there is a veiled threat there - whether I would live with the benefit of sight or being able to walk I don't know."

Eventually the captive broke free of his restraints and shouted for help but not before Garside, Miller and others had stolen £500 from his bank accounts. The pensioner's car was later found crashed and written off.

Escort 'played leading role'

Garside had claimed that she was coerced by Miller, saying that she was held at knifepoint during the robbery, although the judge stated she had played a "leading role".

Miller, of Croxteth, accepted he was present at the time but claimed the robbery was carried out by two other masked men and not by him. But a jury rejected their claims, convicting the alcoholic pair of robbery and false imprisonment

Judge Anil Murray, presiding over the case, said: "For the complainant, this was an absolutely terrifying ordeal. This was a very violent offence and that violence was meted out to this elderly complainant who put up very little resistance."

Miller was jailed for 15 years on an extended sentence, meaning he must serve at least two-thirds of that time in prison, reports the Liverpool Echo. Garside was imprisoned for 12 years.