Leeds Dark Arches killer has history of sexual violence

Richard Danter.
Richard Danter.
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A man who has pleaded guilty to murdering a Leeds university student and leaving his body under the Dark Arches in Leeds has a history of sexual violence.

Richard Danter, 31, has already served a lengthy prison sentence for robbing another student after meeting him in a gay pub.

Danter has a string of previous convictions from 1998 including indecent assaults and an attempted rape on an 18-year-old with learning difficulties for which he got four years imprisonment.

The YEP reported in 2010 how Danter, then of Edinburgh Avenue, Armley, attacked a Leeds Metropolitan University student after meeting him in a pub and taking him to a secluded spot.

He then grabbed the victim by the throat and said he had a knife before throwing him against a wall and demanding cash.

The victim was frogmarched to a cash point and handed Danter £10. He threatened to “snap off” the victim’s arm if he tried to run for help. Danter had drunk 20 bottles of vodka mixer and shots before the incident and he was described as having a “colossal drink problem”.

Danter appeared before Leeds Crown Court via a video link yesterday to plead guilty to the murder of 20-year-old Billy Mankelow.

Mr Mankelow was found with “unsurvivable” head injuries at 3.20am on Saturday April 25 under the railway arches at Swinegate, near Leeds City Station. Danter, of no fixed address, appeared on screen wearing a blue patterned T-shirt and glasses and spoke only to confirm his name and enter the guilty plea.

He will be sentenced on August 21. Mr Mankelow is originally from Kent but was living in the Hyde Park area of the city at the time of the attack.

He died a day after he was found with serious head injuries. He was studying social sciences at the University of Leeds.

A statement released by his family said: “We are devastated by the tragic loss of our loving son Billy.”

Gavin Shaw.

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