A mother has been jailed for carrying out a series of terrifying knife-point robberies targeting lone women in the student area of Leeds.
Victoria Oddy was caught red-handed when residents in Hyde Park overpowered her after she was seen threatening a victim with a ten-inch blade.
Oddy’s victims were left badly traumatised by the attacks and one still suffers from anxiety and struggles to sleep.
Oddy, 27, of Regent Close, Horsforth, was jailed for three years and 11 months yesterday after pleading guilty to two offences of robbery, attempted robbery and the possession of an offensive weapon.
She had a £300-a-day drug habit at the time she committed the offences in June and July last year.
The first attack took place on June 17 as the victim walked along a path towards Cambridge Road at about 7.45pm.
Oddy ran up behind the victim and grabbed her before demanding her mobile phone.
She told the woman: “I have got a knife, I’m going to stab you.”
She punched the woman in the face but the victim managed to run off and raise the alarm.
Oddy then attacked a 25-year-old woman on the evening of July 3 in Queens Road. Duncan Ritchie, prosecuting, said Oddy lunged at the woman as she was on her phone.
She dug her nails into the woman’s hand during the attack before making off with with the phone.
Leeds Crown Court heard someone managed to access the victim’s Facebook account shortly after the incident and she had a threatening message e-mailed to her which stated: “We know where you live.”
Oddy was caught on July 18 after she attacked a student who was walking home from the gym along Blenheim View. Oddy held a knife to the woman’s throat and the blade snapped off as the victim tried to defend herself. Residents in a nearby house saw the attack and helped detain Oddy.
Oddy refused to comment when interviewed about the offences. She was later picked out at an identity procedure.
Narinder Rathour, mitigating, said the offences were committed at a time when Oddy had a £300-a-day drug addiction and was in fear of dealers. The lawyer said Oddy accepted full responsibility for her offending and was full of shame at what she had done.
Mr Rathour said Oddy had endured a troubled upbringing.
He said her father died of cancer in 2011 and two days later she discovered she was pregnant to a partner who subsequently abducted her held her prisoner.
The lawyer said Oddy was responding well to treatment in prison, had developed an interest in fitness and gym sport and had no intention of returning to abusing drugs.
Jailing Oddy, Recorder David Osborne said: “This was a disgraceful and very frightening set of offences, fuelled no doubt by the serious addiction you had at the time. You have caused lasting harm to the people you robbed.”
Referring to the extent of her drug addiction, he said: “She had a £300 a day habit.
“That is £110,000 per year. It is a huge amount of money that needs to be acquired to feed that addiction.”