Street robber who targeted Leeds hospital doctor is jailed

A street robber who told a doctor “let’s go for a walk in the park” before stealing his possessions has been jailed.

By Nick Frame
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 11:45 am

Rhys Eastwood, 22, targeted the professional, who works at St James’ Hospital, as he was walking along Avenue Hill in the Chapeltown area, Leeds Crown Court was told.

It happened at around 5.25pm on January 5, 2020, when Edwards was loitering at the entrance to Potternewton Park with two other men as the doctor walked by.

Prosecutor Alex Menary said it was dark and the men started following him, with one cutting across his path.

Rhys Eastwood robbed the doctor near the entrance of Potternewton Park.

Eastwood then said to the alarmed doctor: “Let’s take a walk in the park.”

He pulled the rucksack from the man’s back and took his wallet from his pocket.

The petrified doctor then asked if they could let him go before running off.

The total value of items taken came to £500, and included a Samsung mobile phone.

The man’s bank card was then used in a bookmakers a short time later.

After Eastwood’s arrest, the victim was able to pick him out of an ID parade.

Eastwood, of Bellbrook Grove, Harehills, admitted a charge of robbery.

Mitigating, Becky Jane told the court: “It was not sophisticated, it was opportunistic, and no weapons were used or threats made.”

She said that Eastwood had gained 10 GCSEs and wanted to go to university, but at the age of 16 fell into drugs.

It was thought he suffers from a borderline personality disorder and was to be tested for ADHD.

Having been held on remand at HMP Leeds, she said he has since converted to the Muslim faith and was already planning his future after his release.

Judge Mushtaq Khokhar said: “I have no doubt he (the doctor) would have been frightened out of his wits having been confronted in the early evening of January by three men.

“Not surprisingly, he was seriously affected by this.”

He jailed Eastwood for two-and-a-half years.

However, it formed part of an overall 11-and-a-half-year jail sentence for Eastwood, who was found guilty after a trial of kidnapping a man in Leeds, holding him at gunpoint and demanding ransom money from his friends and family.