Leeds drug dealer involved in Jason Llanwarne murder put behind bars after family's agony
A drug dealer involved in the sickening murder of a Leeds man nearly two years ago has finally been put behind bars.
Zane Lone attacked Jason Llanwarne in Headingley alongside Mohammed Fike Butt in September 2020, before Mr Llanwarne was fatally hit multiple times by a car driven by Butt.
Leeds Crown Court heard how Butt was sentenced for murder in April 2021 but Lone had fled the country two days after the attack, leaving Mr Llanwarne's family with an agonising wait to bring him to justice.
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In a statement read out to the court, the family said the impact of his death was "difficult to explain because it grows daily".
On the date of the attack on September 14, Mr Llanwarne had met Lone in Butt's car to buy drugs in North Lane.
An argument broke out between the trio and the trouble spilled out onto the street. This led to fighting between Mr Llanwarne, Butt and Lone.
Mr Llanwarne eventually walked away but was called back to the car.
As the 34-year-old returned, he was hit with a "heavy punch" by Butt then attacked by both men while he was on the ground.
Two of Mr Llanwarne's friends came to help him, before Butt left the scene to get into his car.
The court was shown harrowing CCTV footage of Butt mounting the pavement as he drove at the men three times, striking Mr Llanwarne so forcefully that his body was propelled into the air. Butt then ran over him as he lay on the ground.
Mr Llanwarne died as a result of "catastrophic" head injuries.
After escaping the scene, Lone took a flight two days later to Islamabad in Pakistan, where he stayed until returning to the UK on December 14, 2021.
Butt, of Cross Flatts Avenue, Beeston, had been sentenced to life imprisonment for Mr Llanwarne's murder by that time.
Then 31, he had pleaded guilty to murder after his trial began and also admitted two charges of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.
The court heard Lone, 21, of Beckett's Park Drive, Headingley, had arranged with his lawyers to be arrested on his return to the UK and pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
A statement by members of Mr Llanwarne's family was read out to the court.
It said: "We as a family did not expect to see suspect number two to be in court.
"When I was informed of his arrest in December 2021, it brought everything back. I lost a son and my family lost a brother and an uncle.
"No more laughter, no more arguments, no more Jason. The impact Jason's death has on us is difficult to explain because it grows daily."
Mitigating for Lone, his barrister said that he was only 19 at the time and had returned from Pakistan knowing he would be arrested and charged.
He added: "The impetus to return came from the defendant. He came back knowing that Butt had been convicted of murder and had received 28 years."
Sentencing Lone, Judge Tom Bayliss QC said: "My first words in sentencing you should be about Jason.
"He was 34 when he died. His family and friends are left to grieve for him. His parents have lost a child.
"He was a bright person, had great musical abilities and was decent and loyal to his friends.
"You played a role in the first part of the assault, though you did not want to kill or seriously injure him.
"You had more than a minor role. People heard screaming as the car drove towards him.
"You can't fail to realise your actions [in remaining in Pakistan] would prolong the agony of those affected by this."
Lone was sentenced to six years and eight months imprisonment.
Detective Chief Inspector Tony Nicholson of West Yorkshire Police said: “We are pleased Lone has been convicted today for his role in what was a dreadful act of violence in which a car was used as a weapon to murder Jason Llanwarne and attack his friends in a busy Leeds street.
“He thought he could escape justice by fleeing Britain but was arrested as soon as he tried to arrive back in the UK by plane last December “Officers will always pursue everyone involved in serious criminality of any description to put them before the courts and seek justice for victims.”