A gang of violent criminals who left a stroke victim with a fractured skull and slashed his arms and legs as he lay bed-ridden have been branded “wicked” by a judge.
Ryan Slattery and Christopher Hartley were part of the masked gang which targeted the vulnerable 59-year-old victim and his 79-year-old mother as she was caring for him at their home in Leeds.
A court heard they forced their way into the property and told the mother: “The old man upstairs is going to get it and so are you.”
The victim was hit over the head three times with a crowbar as they demanded to know where his money and the morphine to help relieve his pain was kept.
A knife was also used to cut his arms and legs.
They then ransacked the property and stole televisions, mobile phones and other equipment along with the morphine from the house in the Ireland Wood area of the city.
Judge Rodney Jameson, QC, said: “It is not usual for a judge to use the word ‘wicked’, but it is difficult to use any other. It was wickedness of the most extreme kind, made all the worse because it was totally unnecessary.”
Slattery and Hartley escaped and their getaway car smashed into a wall on the Ring Road at Shadwell. Slattery was trapped in the wreckage when police arrived in the early hours of June 15 this year.
In a separate incident, Hartley broke a pensioner’s jaw in a random attack on Town Street, Armley, when the victim refused to give in to his demands to hand over cigarettes and money.
Slattery, 18, of Ramshead Approach, Seacroft was locked up for six years and nine months after pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and causing grievous bodily harm. Hartley, 26, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, wounding with intent and causing grievous bodily harm.
Judge Jameson adjourned Hartley’s sentencing to allow for further reports to consider how much of a danger he poses to the public. After the case, Det Insp Andy Welbourn, of Leeds District CID, said: “This was a shocking incident where a 79-year-old woman was confronted by masked men armed with weapons in the early hours of the morning before they went on to attack her 59-year-old son leaving him with serious injuries. Hartley and Slattery were motivated purely by greed. We hope the significant prison sentences they have received will provide some source of comfort to the victims.”