'Jekyll and Hyde' thug kidnapped former partner in front of children, dragged her through the streets by her hair and assaulted her outside Leeds primary school

A violent thug who kidnapped his ex girlfriend and subjected her to terrifying cocaine-fuelled violence in public has been locked up for five years.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 4:45 pm

Liam Hunt dragged the woman through the streets by the hair, punched her repeatedly and attacked her in view of children on their way to a primary school.

Leeds Crown Court heard Hunt also kidnapped the victim from a car in front of her children and drove off with her, leaving the youngsters behind.

Catherine Silverton, prosecuting, said Hunt and the woman had been in a relationship which ended due to him being violent towards her.

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Liam Hunt was jailed for five years for kidnapping and false imprisonment.

He was made the subject of a restraining order to stay away from her on April 7 this year.

On May 12 the woman received repeated phone calls from the defendant while she was at the home of a female friend.

Hunt was abusive and accused her of sleeping with someone else.

She asked him to stop calling but Hunt said he was outside the house.

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She left the property in her friend's car at 7.50pm, taking her two children with her.

As she was driving down the road Hunt pulled his car in front of her, causing her to stop.

Hunt ordered her to get into his car with him and drove off, leaving the children in the other vehicle.

The defendant told the victim: "We are going to do lie detectors."

Hunt drove at speed and told her: "I am going to kill you. I'm going to crash into a wall at 100mph."

Hunt spoke to his father on his phone as he was driving.

Ms Silverton said the woman considered jumping from the car during the incident.

The ordeal ended after Hunt's father went out in his own car to find his son and persuaded him to let the victim go.

Hunt's father took her home where she found her children crying.

The mum went to her friend's home again the next day as she was too afraid to be at home.

He dragged her outside while she was wearing her pyjamas then dragged her through the streets by her hair, arm and clothing.

The defendant threatened to kill her and tried to take her into some woodland.

She threw herself to the floor and Hunt punched her to the face several times.

A witness saw her being dragged through a ginnel.

Ms Silverton said: "At one point he dragged her up by the hair and punched her in the face.

"He said 'watch this, I'm going to stab you' and reached into his waistband as if to pull out a knife."

"He punched her in the stomach and she felt for blood."

The attack continued near to a primary school at 8.30am as parents and children were in the area.

The victim mouthed 'help me' to another mum but Hunt threatened the woman when she tried to intervene.

The attack ended when the victim saw a police car and ran towards it waving her arms.

Hunt ran away but was arrested as he came out of a house after he tried to hide in some bins.

Hunt refused to answer questions and threatened police officers who tried to interview him.

Hunt, 27, of Lingwell Avenue, Middleton, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, kidnapping and two breaches of a restraining order.

He has previous convictions for assault.

At the time of the offending he was the subject of a suspended sentence for assaulting the same victim.

During that attack he smashed a window at her home while high on cocaine before getting into the property, biting her leg and threatening to "put a bullet in her head."

Shila Whitehead, mitigating, said Hunt pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage and accepted he would be going to prison for a long time.

Ms Whitehead described her client as a 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde character' when he was abusing cocaine.

She added: "He is deeply remorseful. Hearing about how he behaved is upsetting for him.

"It is an inevitable custodial sentence and a long one."

Judge Mushtaq Khokhar said: "I am afraid to say that these are serious offences and they merit a serious sentence."