Couple attacked with golf club and crutch in front of their kids at their home in Middleton by violent gang who were 'enforcing debt'

A couple were attacked with weapons in front of their children on the doorstep of their home in Leeds by a gang who were enforcing a debt.

Saturday, 17th April 2021, 6:00 am

Anthony Ellis used a crutch to attack the victims at the property in Middleton on April 29 last year.

Another member of the gang struck the male victim on the head with a golf club.

Leeds Crown Court was shown "shocking" mobile phone footage of the incident which was taken by a neighbour.

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Leeds Crown Court

Ellis, 21, could clearly be seen swinging the crutch at the victims who were screaming for help.

Eddison Flint, prosecuting, told the court how the couple's children witnessed the attack.

After the attack the mum collapsed inside her home as the children were in the property.

The court heard the attack was carried out as the couple owed money to Ellis.

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In the days before the attack he sent texts to the woman. One read: "You will get battered. Someone will pay you a visit."

Another message read: "Two weeks to pay or I will f*** the money off and send someone to your door."

Ellis and two others turned up at the property armed with weapons.

The woman was in the garden and tried to defend herself but was overpowered.

She and her partner suffered blows to the head and body during the attack and needed hospital treatment.

The dad suffered a wound to his head and injuries to his harm.

The two other gang members, who cannot be identified because of the their ages, have been dealt with by the Youth Court.

Richard Reed, mitigating, said Ellis has no previous convictions and pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage.

Mr Reed said Ellis had been badly injured in a motorcycle accident and had been using the crutch at the time of the incident.

Ellis was jailed for 12 months.

Judge Tom Bayliss QC said: "I have to deal with you for serious offences of violence. Gang violence. Premeditated violence.

"Undoubtedly, they were messages in which you are asking them for money and threatening them with violence.

"Maybe you had that crutch because of an accident, but you used it as a weapon.

"Notwithstanding your previous good character I must bring it home to you and everyone else that gang violence - premeditated gang violence to enforce a debt - will not be tolerated.

"I cannot overlook this. There has to be, in my judgement, an immediate prison sentence."