Wakefield: Man sentenced for helping murderer

Steven Harratt at an earlier hearing.
Steven Harratt at an earlier hearing.
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A man who helped a double murderer escape after he stabbed two teenage girls to death has been jailed for two years and nine months.

Steven Harratt, 57, was handed the sentence after jury had found him guilty of assisting Ahmad Otak, who was sentenced to a minimum of 34 years in jail last year for murdering 17-year-old Kimberley Frank and 18-year-old Samantha Sykes.

Harratt, 57, gave Otak money, clothing, food and a sat nav to help him get to Dover after he took Kimberley’s sister Elisa prisoner and tried to leave the UK after the murders.

Otak, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, forced Miss Frank to travel with him but was arrested after she raised the alarm in Dover.

The jury took about two hours to find Harratt guilty of assisting an offender after the four-day trial last month.

Sentencing him, judge Geoffrey Marson QC told Harratt: “I sentence you on the basis, as the jury must have found, that you believed that he committed at least one serious offence of violence.

“You provided him with food, with money, clothing, and you went and bought a satellite navigation device.

“You gave him some advice, I am satisfied, as to the method by which he might flee the country on a ferry and once he had left your house, there was phone contact between you.

“I am also satisfied from the evidence that I heard that you knew it was particularly serious because you knew at one stage that Elisa Frank had her legs bound and that Ahmad Otak had, on his knee, a knife.”

Elisa Frank told the trial how she watched as Otak stabbed her sister to death in the flat, before spitting on her body.

Harratt provided his friend with support after the murderer arrived at his home in Wakefield with Miss Frank and told him he had a problem.

When Harratt asked if he had hurt someone, Otak, who was believed to be 21 at the time, told him he could not tell him anything but he would find out in a few days.

Miss Frank, 19, said Otak had the knife used in the murders on his lap as Harratt helped him fit the sat nav in his car and that he was present as Otak bound her legs together.

The court heard that while Harratt, of Willow Grove, Sandal, Wakefield, did not know exactly what Otak had done, he must have realised that he had committed a serious offence.

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