'This was an horrific event': Carjacker attacked Leeds foster mum in front of her children before driving off with youngsters still in the vehicle
A foster mum was dragged from her car in Leeds before a pair of robbers drove off while her three children were still inside the vehicle.
A court heard horrifying details of the moment the victim was attacked as the children, all aged under eight years old, screamed in terror.
Ryan Fraser and Andrew Hall then sped off in the vehicle as the mum desperately tried to cling on to the door handle to stop them getting away.
The youngsters were allowed out of the car a short distance away and the vehicle was later found burnt out in another area of Leeds
Fraser and Hall were locked up for a total of more than 12 years over the incident on October 3 last year.
Leeds Crown Court heard Fraser, a violent career criminal, attacked the woman after she stopped her car outside a hairdressers on Armley Ridge Road.
She was dragged to the ground and pulled across the pavement by the 27-year-old defendant as he shouted threats and abuse at her.
The robbery was captured on CCTV footage.
Kitty Colley, prosecuting, said the three children witnessed the attack and screamed in fear.
Fraser then got into the driving seat and Hall walked around the car and got into the passenger side.
Fraser told the children to "shut up" before stopping a short distance away where they left the car.
Witnesses heard Hall telling Fraser to pull over to let the children go.
The youngsters were found in a distressed state at the side of the road.
Fraser and Hall then enlisted the help of two women, Rachel Barrow and Nicole Swain, to get rid of the car.
The vehicle was found burnt out near to Rothwell Labour Club later that day, close to the homes of the defendants.
Fraser, of Fifth Avenue, Rothwell, pleaded guilty to robbery, kidnapping and arson and was jailed for six years, five months.
Hall, 34, of Sixth Avenue, Rothwell, pleaded guilty to robbery and was jailed for five and a half years.
Swain, 23, of Fifth Avenue, Rothwell, pleaded guilty to arson and was given a six-month sentence, suspended for two years.
She was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work and to complete ten rehabilitation activity requirement days.
Barrow, 29, of Sixth Avenue, Rothwell, pleaded guilty to arson.
She was given a three-month sentence, suspended for two years, plus 150 hours of unpaid work with ten rehabilitation activity requirement days.
The mum provided a victim statement to the court describing how she is still struggling to come to terms with what happened.
The mum described how the youngest child says she "can't get them nasty men out of my mind."
She added: "My life changed on that day. They have affected my life more than I thought possible."
The court heard Fraser has previous convictions for burglary and aggravated vehicle taking.
Hall has previous convictions for conspiracy to commit robbery and inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Sean Smith, for Fraser, said his client was sorry for what he had done and wanted to apologise to the family.
Fraser had taken cocaine when he carried out the attack.
Robin Frieze, for Hall, said his client was also remorseful and had not been aware of the level of force used by Fraser against the woman.
Lawyers for Swain and Barrow said the women had been pressured into helping Fraser and Hall get rid of the vehicle.
Sentencing, Judge Neil Clark said: "The degree of force (Fraser) used and the nature of the threats were extreme.
"When one sees her being pulled physically across the pavement, it is clear that Fraser had no regard for her well being.
"He did that at a time when it would have been obvious that there would have been children in the car."
Judge Clark commended the mum for the bravery she showed in trying to stop the robbers.
After the case, Detective Sergeant Ni Khan, of Leeds District Crime Team, said: “This was a horrific event. Thankfully incidents like this are isolated and rare but it must have been very distressing for the victim who saw her three young children driven away – I can only imagine how scared and worried she was for their welfare.
“Thankfully they were found safely a short time later.
“A thorough investigation into the offence was carried out by Leeds District Crime Team and Hall and Fraser now have time inside to consider the consequences of their actions.”