Woman attacked armed robbery trial witness in Leeds bar as revenge for giving evidence against her brother

A mum carried out a violent revenge attack on a woman for giving evidence against her brother in a high-profile armed robbery trial.

Thursday, 29th August 2019, 9:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th August 2019, 10:55 pm
Leeds Crown Court

Linda Rowley attacked the victim in a toilet for testifying against her sibling in a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

John Rowley was subsequently convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a firearm over the New Year's Day raid on a family home in Seacroft, Leeds.He is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence which was imposed last November.

Stephen Littlewood, prosecuting, told the court how Linda Rowley confronted the victim in the toilets of Players Bar, Albion Street, on October 5 last year.

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Leeds Crown Court

She approached the woman as she came out of a toilet cubicle and said: "If he gets ten to 15 years for this this is going to come back on you.

"When the trial is finished I'm coming for you."

The prosecutor said Rowley threw a bottle of Blu WKD before launching herself at the woman and pulling her hair.

The two women were separated by others and the victim left the bar.

Linda Rowley carried out revenge attack in toilet at Players Bar, Albion Street, for giving evidence in armed robbery trial.

Rowley, of Ramshead Hill, Seacroft, was arrested and told police in interview that a "scuffle" had taken place but denied that it was anything to do with her brother's trial.

The 36-year-old mother-of-three later pleaded guilty to an offence of taking revenge.

The offence is charged under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and is designed to protect people who have assisted police, given evidence at a trial or served as a juror.

Mr Littlewood said that before the offence took place, Home Office attack alarms had been fitted in the woman's home as it was feared John Rowley would arrange an acid attack on her if she gave evidence.

The prosecutor read a victim statement to the court on behalf of the woman.

She described how she now feels frightened to leave her home.

She said: "I am constantly in fear for my life.

"Her brother did wrong and that is not my fault."

Mark Foley, mitigating, said Rowley and the woman had seen each other earlier in the evening and they had spoken politely to each other.

Mr Foley said the defendant went to confront her later when she thought the woman had thrown her a "mucky look".

He added: "What was boiling up was a degree of resentment about what was happening to her brother.

"The defendant believed that her brother had been wrongly charged."

Mr Foley said Rowley was sorry for what she had done and wished to apologise.

The lawyer said Rowley has three children, including an 18-week-old baby, who would suffer if she was jailed.

Rowley was given a ten-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Judge Simon Phillips said: "(The victim) has been subjected to a frightening and thoroughly unpleasant ordeal.

"She is now left afraid to go out alone.

"She does not feel safe and is constantly in fear.

"The courts are here to ensure that individuals are able to give evidence without fear of reprisals."

John Rowley was locked up in November after a jury found him guilty over his role in the robbery at a family home on Rosgill Drive.A fake gun was pointed at a woman's head during the plot to rob the family of £20,000 on New Year's Day 2018.

John Rowley's accomplice, 50-year-old Adrian Mark Casey, died after suffering injuries during the incidentCasey, who had taken a "toxic level of amphetamine", was found with a fatal head injury and was pronounced dead by paramedics outside the house.

Brothers Daniel and Ian Ward initially faced murder charged over the incident at their parents' home.

The charges against the brothers were later dropped.