'A pitiless and gratuitous attack': Meanwood robber brought to justice four years after attacking man in street and taking his car
A thug who took part in a 'pitiless and gratuitous' robbery of a man before stealing his car has been sent to prison.
Nicardo Mitchell was aged 17 when he targeted the victim in a street in Meanwood along with a teenage accomplice.
Leeds Crown Court heard how the attack took place in Claremont Drive on March 30, 2017.
Howard Shaw, prosecuting, said the man parked his Skoda Fabia car and was attacked as he walked towards his home.
Mitchell and the other attacker were armed with a knife and a wooden bat and had their faces covered as they approached him.
They demanded his car keys and punched him in the face as they shouted threats.
The victim dropped the car keys to the ground but the pair continued to attack him.
He was kicked repeatedly as he lay defenceless on the ground.
The victim suffered cuts and bruises to his head and body.
The car was found by police around an hour later parked on Disraeli Terrace, Beeston, a short distance from where the robbers were living at the time.
Mitchell's DNA was recovered from the gear stick. A knife was recovered from the vehicle which contained the DNA of Mitchell's 18-year-old accomplice.
Mitchell, of Amberton Crescent, Gipton, was arrested a week later.
He denied the offence and went on the run as police continued to investigate.
He was arrested in Scarborough in July 2018 but continued to deny the offence.
The case was further delayed by a lack of court availability then the Covid-19 pandemic,
Mitchell, now aged 21, eventually pleaded guilty to robbery on the day his trial was due to begin on March 24 this year.
Daniel Penman, mitigating, said Mitchell was sorry for what he had put the victim through.
Mr Penman read out a letter to the court written by Mitchell.
"I am deeply ashamed. I was a stupid, easily-led, little rugrat.
"I would like you to know that in the last four years I have had nothing but bad karma.
"I have been to jail and lost everyone and everything."
Mr Penman said Mitchell had matured since the offence, is now a father and plans to work hard to support his family when released from custody.
Jailing Mitchell for three years and seven months, Judge Tom Bayliss QC said: "It was a pitiless and gratuitous attack.
"The nature of this robbery is such that, even allowing for the delays, there has to be an immediate prison sentence."
The court heard Mitchell's accomplice was found guilty of the attack and a further robbery offence after a trial. He was given a ten-year prison sentence.