A CHEF and manager lured a vulnerable woman to an Indian restaurant and kept her upstairs against her will after she had been discharged from hospital, a court heard.

Praveen Linga and Vasie Irofte were sentenced on February 14 for false imprisonment, following a trial at Reading Crown Court.

In the early hours of May 25, Linga escorted the victim from Royal Berkshire Hospital to Chennai Dosa on King’s Road.

She remained there for nearly two hours and was prevented from leaving after Irofte, 19, asked her if she would have sex with him for money.

Both men ­– who are married with young children - were acquitted of attempted rape and sexual assault, but judge Paul Dugdale remained adamant that there was a ‘sexual undertone’ to her being brought to the restaurant.

The court was shown CCTV footage from the upstairs area where the victim was taken. It showed her being pushed on several times and at one stage she had her arm pulled away from the door as she attempted to leave.

The restaurant, which is now permanently closed, was visited the following day by officers, who requested CCTV footage. Linga, 29, contacted the company responsible for retaining the data and asked them to delete the date of the offence.

Both men received a two-year sentence for false imprisonment, while Linga was handed an additional two months for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Judge Dugdale said: “She became more and more distressed as time went by and started to cry. She wanted to leave and Irofte blocked her. The handling of her was rough.

“I would describe it as very unpleasant, overbearing and bullying behaviour of two men towards a woman who was on her own late at night.

“You have both thoroughly let your families down and both of you in your hearts should be utterly ashamed of what you did that night.

“There must have come a point that night where she was terrified and you must have realised that, but you kept her upstairs anyway.”

The victim had initially been offered blankets, but events turned nasty when Linga could not find his wallet and started to blame the woman.

He searched her handbag and when she attempted to leave, Irofte became particularly aggressive towards her. She was physically restrained and told to be quiet when she started crying.

In a victim impact statement to the court, she said she regularly suffered from flashbacks and found it hard to go out by herself.

She received abrasions to her hands as well as bruising to her legs, arms and groin.

Judge Dugdale added: “It may be that she was not initially worried. She wanted a lift [home] but as time went on it became clear to her that was not your intention.

“There is no audio on the CCTV and it is impossible to know what was said by either of you. But there are clear sexual undertones. Irofte then asked if she had sex for money and pulled her top down so that her bra was exposed.”