A MAN has been told he will face jail after being found guilty of helping a double murderer who stabbed two teenage girls to death in a Wakefield flat.
Steven Harratt sobbed in the dock at Leeds Crown Court as he was found guilty of assisting Ahmad Otak, who was sentenced to a minimum of 34 years in jail last year for murdering 17-year-old Kimberley Frank and 18-year-old Samantha Sykes.
Elisa Frank, Otak’s ex-girlfriend, told the trial how she watched as Otak stabbed her sister to death in the flat, before spitting on her body and laughing.
Harratt, 57, gave Otak money, clothing, food and a sat nav to help him get to Dover and try to leave the UK after the murders.
Otak, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, forced Miss Frank to travel with him but was arrested after she raised the alarm in Dover.
The jury took about two hours to find Harratt guilty of assisting an offender after the four-day trial.
Judge Geoffrey Marson QC praised them for their care and attention to the case.
He said to the jury: “I can only acknowledge how distressing it must have been to hear details of those terrible offences that Otak committed.”
Judge Marson added: “It’s been perfectly obvious to me that this hearing has been very difficult for the family and friends of Kimberley and Samantha, who have also had to listen to what has gone on.”
The judge offered his sympathy to the families of the two women.
Grey-haired Harratt, wearing a black suit and tie, clutched a tissue in his hand as Judge Marson told him he would face jail when he returned for sentencing next month.
He told him: “As I’ve indicated, the adjournment for the report and the granting of bail is no indication that anything other than an immediate custodial sentence will follow.”
Harratt bought Otak a sat nav and gave him money, food and clothing after the murderer arrived at his home in Wakefield with Miss Frank and told him he had a problem.
When Harratt asked if he had hurt someone, Otak, who was believed to be 21 at the time, told him he could not tell him anything but he would find out in a few days.
Miss Frank, 19, said Otak had the knife used in the murders on his lap as Harratt helped him fit the sat nav in his car and that he was present as Otak bound her legs together.
The court heard that while Harratt did not know exactly what Otak had done, he must have realised that he had committed a serious offence.
He will be sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on February 8.