Teenager threw lit petrol bomb at man on Leeds street during crime spree

A teenager who hurled a petrol bomb at a man and threw bricks at his family's home in Leeds has been locked up for more than four years.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 5:52 pm

Logan Callaghan also struck the man on the head with a brick and intimidated witnesses during a ten-month crime spree, Leeds Crown heard.

Callaghan, of Lupton Avenue, Harehills, was 17 at the time and had been working as a trainee chef, but went "off the rails" after his older brother took his own life while in custody, the court was told.

Alsasdair Campbell, prosecuting, said Callaghan, now 19, swung a hammer at a man but missed during an incident on Roberts Avenue, Harehills, at around 9pm on July 14 2018.

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Logan Callaghan

Callaghan then threw the hammer, which struck the man on the arm, before leaving the area.

Callaghan returned to Roberts Avenue in the early hours the following day with five other people.

Mr Campbell said Callaghan had two bottles filled with petrol and tissues stuffed inside them.

He lit one bottle and threw it at the man he had earlier thrown the hammer at.

It missed before striking the outside of the man's house and the flames died out.

Another man grabbed Callaghan to try and stop him throwing the other bottle, which broke over the man's head during a struggle and he was soaked in petrol.

Mr Campbell said Callaghan then grabbed bricks from a wall and threw them at the house window, which smashed.

One brick landed near a child who was on a sofa in the house.

Callaghan then struck the hammer victim with a brick, causing blood to pour down his face.

The man suffered a deep, 6cm long wound which needed stitches in hospital.

Callaghan was arrested later that morning before being bailed with conditions not to go to Roberts Avenue or approach those involved in the incident.

Mr Campbell said on September 22 2018, Callaghan went to Roberts Avenue and told the man he attacked : "If you don't drop the charges I will get you again."

And on December 17 2018 Callaghan was in a supermarket when he approached the man who had grabbed the petrol bomb off him and said he was "a snitch."

On December 21, Callaghan and accomplices were caught burgling a number of shops in the Kirkgate area of Leeds city centre, including Superdrug.

Police called fire crews to get access to the roof of the buildings before arresting Callaghan and others.

Just after 3pm on April 11 2019, Callaghan and another youth attacked a man in Burmantofts area and grabbed his phone, which broke in the struggle.

The man suffered a black eye and a swollen face.

Nicholas Hammond, mitigating, said in late June 2018 Callaghan had been working as a trainee chef at a Leeds city centre hotel.

Mr Hammond said: "His brother died in custody on June 6 2018. He was particularly close to his brother and he took the loss hard.

"He lost his employment, because he was grieving at home, and he went completely off the rails."

Callaghan denied one charge of wounding the man he hit in the face with a brick on July 15.

A Leeds Crown Court jury found Callaghan guilty of that charge after a trial in his absence in July 2020.

He admitted one charge of attempted arson with intent to endanger life in connection with the petrol bombs.

Callaghan admitted possessing a weapon in relation to the hammer, two charges of intimidating a witness and assault - in connection with the April 11 incident.

He also admitted four charges of commercial burglary in connection with the December 21 2018 offences.

Sentencing Callaghan to four years and nine months detention in a young offender institution, Judge Mushtaq Khokar, told him: "You not only recruited five other youths, but also prepared two bottles with petrol inside. In one way they were petrol bombs."

Judge Khokar added: "It cannot be disputed that your older brother died in custody (from) suicide in June 2018.

"The offending took place after that event. I'm prepared to accept that you would have been close to your brother and it would have had an effect on you emotionally."