Violent robber threatened to inject Leeds nurse with HIV

John Hardcastle.
John Hardcastle.

A thug who threatened to stab a nurse with a syringe as he tried to rob her of her car has been locked up for more than five years.

John Hardcastle, 35, told the terrified victim he was going to inject her with HIV after getting into the vehicle when she parked on a street in Beeston, Leeds.

Leeds Crown Court heard the victim had driven home from her shift at Leeds General Infirmary when the incident happened on Tempest Road at 7pm on February 14 this year.

Louise Pryke, prosecuting, said Hardcastle climbed into the passenger seat of the Audi TT and grabbed the woman before showing her the weapon.

Hardcastle told the woman: “Listen to what I am saying, I am going to inject you with HIV.”

The woman refused to hand over the keys and threw them under the seat.

She also threw her handbag out of the window as she cried out for help.

Another man who was with Hardcastle then approached the vehicle and told him to run. Hardcastle grabbed the woman by the throat before leaving but was detained in the street by two members of the public.

The court heard Hardcastle stole a Vauxhall Mokka the previous day after taking the keys from a hair salon on Dewsbury Road, Beeston.

CCTV footage from the salon showed a man and a woman enter the premises and distract the victim before Hardcastle stole the keys.

Hardcastle, of Lincoln Green Road, Burmantofts, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and theft of a vehicle.

Narinder Rathour, mitigating, said Hardcastle’s offending was linked to drug addiction.

He added: “There is no justification for these offences.”

Hardcastle was jailed for five years and seven months.

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