'I thought I was going to die': Boy, 14, launched bloody machete attack on rival teen in Leeds

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A Leeds boy aged just 14 has been locked up after a bloody and ferocious machete attack on another teenager which left him needing surgery and fearing for his life.

The youngster, who cannot be named due to his age, took part in the vicious assault in the Harehills area in September last year with an accomplice. Both wore balaclavas and were riding electric bicycles when they picked out the victim who was walking to the Islamic Centre to pray.

He was given 30 months' detention at Leeds Crown Court this week, but faces an increased sentence next month when he answers a raft of other offences, including six robbery charges, some of which he committed when he was just 13.

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Prosecutor Michael Smith said the boy and his co-accused were brandishing the large knives and pursued the victim after he tried to run. They cornered him and began attacking him on Florence Street with the blades, despite him being prone on the floor. The incident was caught on CCTV and played to the court.

The victim was attacked by two boys with machetes on Florence Street. (library pics by National World and Google Maps)The victim was attacked by two boys with machetes on Florence Street. (library pics by National World and Google Maps)
The victim was attacked by two boys with machetes on Florence Street. (library pics by National World and Google Maps) | National World and Google Maps

The 16-year-old victim tried to defend himself and block the machetes blows with his arm. They only relented when horrified members of the public intervened. The victim, who maintains he has no idea why he was attacked, was taken to Leeds General Infirmary.

He suffered "gaping wounds" to both arms, with the machete cutting through tissue, muscle and tendons. He required surgery due to damage to the bone in his arm.

In a victim impact statement read to the court by Mr Smith, he said he was now scared to leave his home, had recurring nightmares about being chased by the pair and being "covered in blood".

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He said: "I was surprised to get away with wounds to my arms. I thought I was going to die. It was relentless. I will forever have the scars of what they did to me."

The defendant was caught after CCTV was able to trace him walking back to his home after the attack. He was later arrested and the machete found. He gave a no-comment interview to police.

He later admitted GBH with intent, and possession of an offensive weapon. Mitigating, Kara Frith acknowledged that a custodial sentence was required and said: "He has made it very clear for a number of months that he feels he is not ready to be released, and wants to be held in custody.

"He recognises that he still has work to do. There's no doubt this was a terrifying, ferocious and persistent attack, witnessed by members of the public in the middle of the day. The consequences could have been much worse."

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She said there had been "issues" between the the boy and the victim, but he understood there was "no justification" for what he did.

The judge, the Recorder of Leeds, Guy Kearl KC agreed that a youth rehabilitation order was not suitable and said he needed to be detained. He said that had he been an adult, he could have been looking at five years' jail, but this was radically reduced due to his age.

As well as the detention order, he gave him a five-year restraining order to keep him away from the victim.

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