'Sniggering' carjackers threatened woman with gun before crashing into tree during armed police chase

A pair of carjackers threatened three people with a gun and attacked a police officer during a violent rampage.

Thursday, 22nd August 2019, 16:01 pm
Carjackers Ryan Hurley (left) and Lee Cass laughed and joked as they were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court for terrorising a woman with a gun.

Ryan Hurley and Lee Cass laughed and joked in court as details were revealed of how a gun was pointed at a woman during the crime spree.

Leeds Crown Court heard the incident came to an end when they crashed a stolen car head-on into a tree as they were chased by police marksmen and a helicopter.

The pair were locked up for a total of 13 and a half years after pleading guilty to a series of offences during the incident on March 14 this year.

Carjackers Ryan Hurley (left) and Lee Cass laughed and joked as they were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court for terrorising a woman with a gun.

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Robert Stevenson, prosecuting, told the court how Hurley and Cass threatened a man outside his home on Laurel Drive, in the Wilton area of Batley, at 8.30pm.

Hurley told the man: "We have come to rule Wilton and are going to smash your car up."

The victim rang his brother who came to the scene in a Seat Leon car.

Leeds Crown Court

Cass took out a handgun and the driver jumped from the car when he appeared to load ammunition into the bottom of it.

The defendants got into the car and Hurley drove it away.

Police marksmen were sent to the area and the West Yorkshire Police helicopter was also deployed.

Hurley and Cass then threatened a woman after stopping her car in Liversedge around an hour later.

The Seat overtook her car and narrowly avoided hitting her as she drove along First Avenue.

The women sounded her horn and Hurley stopped the car.

Cass went over to the woman's car and pointed the weapon at her.

The pair got back into the Seat and drove off.

The gun was thrown from the car as they were being followed by police.

A motorist who witnessed the incident recovered it and it was found to be an air pistol.

Hurley reached speeds of around 80mph in 30mph areas before crashing into a tree.

The pair tried to run from the scene and Hurley was tasered by officers.

Cass appeared heavily drunk and was abusive to the armed officers, telling them to shoot him in the head.

Cass spat in a police officer's face as he was in custody.

Hurley, 32, of Preston Street, Batley, pleaded guilty to three offences of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, theft, dangerous driving and affray.

He was jailed for seven years and three months.

Both men have long criminal records for violence, burglary, robbery and drugs offences.

Hurley also has a previous conviction for making explosives.

Both men appeared before the court via a video link from Armley jail.

Matthew Harding, for Hurley, said his client had pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage.

John Batchelor, for Cass, said his client was sorry for the distress he had caused the woman during the incident.

Mr Batchelor said his client wished to take part in a "restorative justice programme" which would allow him to contact the victim and say sorry in person.

The lawyer said: "It must have been terrifying for her.

"He wants an opportunity to explained that she was not a chosen victim. She was a random victim."

But after sentencing the pair, Judge Penelope Belcher said: "You are both laughing and sniggering and think this is all very funny despite you, Lee Cass, saying you want to meet (the victim) for restorative justice."