Child rapist, arsonist and unprovoked street attacker sentenced - Leeds Crown Court round-up

A child rapist, an arsonist and the teenager behind two unprovoked street attacks were among the criminals sentenced at Leeds Crown Court in the past week.

By Georgina Morris
Sunday, 12th June 2022, 6:14 pm

Judges at the court also heard the cases of an aspiring solicitor who threw boiling water over her housemate and a semi-professional footballer who hid cannabis in his underwear.

Those sentenced at Leeds Crown Court this week included:

Steven Smith

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Child rapist Steven Smith was jailed for 14 years.

A man who raped and sexually abused a young girl has been jailed for 14 years.

Steven Smith, 51, "used and abused" the victim for his own "perverted sexual gratification" over a period of two years, Leeds Crown Court heard.

The girl - described as much loved with a "supportive family" - was "effectively silenced" by Smith who told her not to speak out about the continued abuse.

McKenzie Dagless

An 18-year-old who stabbed a man in the leg and punched a woman in the face during a "feral and uncontrollable" random attack in Pudsey has been given an extended 10-year sentence.

McKenzie Dagless, of no fixed abode, committed "significant injuries on members of the public for no explicable reason" in two separate incidents, Leeds Crown Court heard.

A probation officer's report described it as "rare to come across someone so young who presents such a high risk of reoffending".

Julie Towey

CCTV footage captured Julie Towey, 53, as she stuffed something into her neighbour's letterbox along with an accelerant.

Another neighbour - who was returning home from work - could smell burning and saw the door of the property in Fairfield Crescent, Bramley, was alight.

Emma Raymond

An aspiring solicitor threw a pan of boiling water over her university housemate before calmly walking away with a plate of food, a court heard.

Emma Raymond later told police officers it was "funny" that she had still managed to eat the broccoli which had been cooking in the pan and her actions had been "just the same as slapping someone on a night out".

Leeds Crown Court heard Raymond, 23, of St Leonards Close, Bushy, Hertfordshire, went on to achieve a first class degree, while the victim deferred her dissertation and graduation.

Bilal Ahmed

A Leeds man has been jailed for two years after he was caught grooming what he thought to be a 13-year-old girl.

Bilal Ahmed displayed "grooming type behaviour" in messages that were, in fact, being sent to members of the Predator Exposure paedophile hunting group.

The 25-year-old, of Norwood Terrace, Leeds, was also arrested after turning up at the place of work of a woman who he had previously been warned about harassing.

Daniel Habberjam

A man has been locked up after a drink-fuelled attack on his housemate ended with him waving around a knife and making threats.

Daniel Habberjam's victim lay terrified on the floor and unable to move from the pain as blood poured from his mouth, Leeds Crown Court was told.

The court heard Habberjam, 34, of Aketon Road, Castleford, later told a housing association staff member that he would slit the victim's throat if he had said anything to police.

Devante Morton

A semi-professional footballer confessed to having bags of cannabis stuffed in his underwear after police pulled over the car in which he was travelling.

Devante Morton had been a passenger in a car which was stopped by police in Sherburn Road, Leeds, on March 15 this year.

The 25-year-old, of Spen Lawn, Leeds, was already the subject of a suspended prison sentence for earlier drugs offences.

Steven Kaye

A drug dealer who tried to jump the dock and escape court when he was sentenced last year was caught with a mobile phone in prison just three months later

Steven Kaye, 32, of Stanks Avenue, Leeds, was chased by security officers and detained within Leeds Crown Court during his sentencing for drug offences in September 2021.

While serving his 67-month custodial term, Kaye was x-rayed by body scanners and officers discovered he had a mobile phone "secreted" in his body.

William Huckerby-Moore

A man has been detained in a psychiatric hospital after being abusive to shop staff and shouting obscenities at passers-by from the window of his home.

William Huckerby-Moore accused a shop worker at McColls in Halton Moor of spiking bottles of pop and was verbally abusive before twice pushing him, Leeds Crown Court was told.

The 25-year-old then returned to his home in Selby Road, Leeds, and began shouting out of his window at passersby-by and passing vehicles.

David Coomber

A man drove his car at a group of people as he responded to an earlier altercation in a "wholly inappropriate and disproportionate" way, Leeds Crown Court heard.

The car being driven by David Coomber, of Ryedale Holt, Wortley, mounted the kerb and only narrowly missed hitting anyone during the incident in Leeds.

The judge, Recorder Marco Giuliani, said the 33-year-old should have been at home on the evening of the offence as it happened during a national lockdown.

Najebullah Muemain

A man has been jailed after he tried to meet a 14-year-old girl who he had been talking to online, only to discover it was a fake profile set up by a group of paedophile hunters.

Najebullah Muemain was found with a 'sex-aid tablet' after being stopped by members of the group Secretly Tackling Online Predators.

The 33-year-old, of Luxor View, Harehills, had gone to Leeds Station believing that he would be meeting with the girl.

Scott Pexton

An "emotionally disturbed" man chased his neighbours with a knife and threatened to torch a family's home just a few hours after his mum's cancer diagnosis led him to make an attempt on his own life.

Scott Pexton, 34, had drunk whisky and taken an overdose of prescription medication before shouting abuse and making threats towards people in the Leeds block of flats where he lived.

Pexton, of Beevers Court, Ireland Wood, told the judge that the news of his mum's illness had "destroyed" him and he was sorry for his actions.

Denilson Tavares-Manuel

Denilson Tavares-Manuel, 18, was being chased by a gang carrying machetes when his mum raised the alarm amid fears for his life.

When officers arrived, they found the teenager, of Servia Drive, Woodhouse, was himself in possession of a weapon as well as wraps of drugs including cocaine and heroin that were worth more than £2,400.