Leeds knifeman fails in sentence appeal

A dangerous criminal who subjected a Leeds family to a terrifying knife attack as he tried to rob them in their home has been told he deserved his indefinite jail term.

Ian Benjamin Senior was handed an indeterminate sentence for public protection – which is almost identical to a life sentence – at Leeds

Crown Court in April last year.

The 26-year-old, of Eltham, south London, was ordered to serve at least six years behind bars after being convicted of attempted robbery, three counts of wounding with intent and breaching an antisocial behaviour order.

Senior challenged the sentence at London's Criminal Appeal Court, with lawyers arguing he should not be locked up indefinitely. But his appeal was dismissed by three top judges, who said the open-ended sentence was "wholly justified" and necessary to protect the public.

Judge Warwick McKinnon QC, sitting with Lord Justice Leveson and Lord Justice Pitchford, told the court Senior attacked three members of a family in the Roundhay area of Leeds, after following one of them home.

At about 11pm on July 7, 2009, Senior and an unknown accomplice followed a 28-year-old man as he walked from a cash machine on Street Lane to his home on nearby Norton Road and attacked him, stabbing his face and body.

The victim's aunt and cousin, who were in the house at the time, tried to come to his aid, but they too were attacked by Senior before he fled the scene.

Judge McKinnon said Senior had a "lengthy record" of previous convictions for 142 offences, including assault.

Coroner David Hinchliff, who will retire next year.

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