Privately educated schoolboy, 15, slashed 17-year-old rival with Rambo knife during 'appalling' violence in public on busy Leeds city centre street

A schoolboy slashed a rival teenager with a Rambo knife during 'appalling and frightening' violence in front of members of the public in a busy Leeds city centre street.

By Tony Gardner
Sunday, 20th September 2020, 4:45 pm

A court heard police initially launched an attempted murder investigation when it was thought the victim had suffered life-threatening injuries in the attack.

Leeds Crown Court heard how the 15-year-old defendant took out the weapon and stabbed the other male to the back of the neck during the disturbance on Vicar Lane.

Robert Galley, prosecuting, said the incident happened at 6pm on July 3 this year as the city centre was busy with members of the public.

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Fifteen-year-old schoolboy slashed rival near to bus stop on Vicar Lane.

The court was shown camera footage from a bus which captured the clash between a group of young males.

Violence erupted shortly after one group got off the bus and was confronted by the other group.

Mr Galley said the 17-year-old victim suffered a serious wound to the back of his neck.

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The camera footage showed the 15-year-old, who cannot be identified, slashing through the fabric of the victim's jacket as he inflicted the wound.

Police were able to arrest suspects in the area of Leeds Market with the help of CCTV camera operators.

Another male involved in the dispute was found in possession of a claw hammer.

Mr Galley said the attack happened shortly after the victim and his friends got off the number 50A bus outside Flannels clothing store.

He added: "(The defendant) pulled out the large Rambo-style knife and started to swing it around and struck him to the back."

The boy was arrested at his home in the early hours of the following morning after being identified as a suspect.

He was wearing the same clothing from the images of the attack.

The victim received medical treatment at Leeds General Infirmary as he was bleeding heavily from muscles next to his spine.

A scan showed he had also suffered a laceration to his lung.

The defendant pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and possession of a bladed article.

He was described in court as an intelligent young man who is being privately educated.

In the months leading up to the incident he had been in trouble for taking drugs into his school.

Glenn Parsons, mitigating, said: "He is otherwise a very bright and intelligent young man.

"He was made out in his own neighbourhood as being the posh boy and the golden boy.

"He played up, wanting to prove himself and got involved in these matters."

The court heard the defendant has been in secure accommodation since being arrested.

Mr Parsons said his client would be moving away from Leeds to another city in a bid to prevent him re-offending if he was not given a custodial sentence

The barrister added: "If he was an adult there would be no question about it, he would be going down the stairs and away for a long time indeed."

The teenager was made the subject of a two-year youth rehabilitation order and was told he must take part in a 91-day activity requirement.

He was made the subject of a curfew, between 7pm and 7am, for nine months.

The defendant was also made the subject of a GPS-monitored exclusion order, banning him from entering West Yorkshire for nine months.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC said: "You are an intelligent young man who has been given every advantage.

"You have been sent to good schools, you are from a loving family background and you fall into a completely different category to many of the people who I have to sentence in this Crown court.

"All the positive things which I have seen and read about you make it even more surprising that we face each other across court today for your behaviour and the choices which you started to make.

"I am giving you a package of supervision and assistance which is world class.

"They will help you and they will help you every step of the way.

"But ultimately the only person who can make the change is you.

"I have got to try and stop you re-offending. While it is incredibly tempting to say someone who does something like this should be taken off the streets, I am looking at you and looking at what is best for you.

"If you do not take this opportunity and breach the order, you will come back before me and you will be telling me that you do not want this chance."