Drunk tried to kill homeless man in Leeds stabbing

DANGEROUS: Ramounas Zykovas.
DANGEROUS: Ramounas Zykovas.

A HOMELESS man suffered life-threatening injuries after being stabbed repeatedly to his head and body in an unprovoked attack as he slept rough.

Ramounas Zykovas was given a 16-year extended sentence yesterday over the brutal early-hours attack on Dean Ward outside the Arndale Centre in Headingley, Leeds.

A court heard Zykovas, 22, had drunk 12 litres of cider before the attack on August 26 this year.

The Lithuanian national was due to return to his home country the next day after checks on his immigration status revealed he was not entitled to remain in the UK.

Leeds Crown Court was shown CCTV footage of Zykovas approaching Mr Ward before inflicting the injuries as he slept outside a Sainsbury’s store.

Zykovas left a kitchen knife at the scene and later contacted police to tell them he had stabbed someone. Mr Ward suffered punctured lungs, injuries to his spine, chest and had part of his nose cut off.

He has been left with permanent nerve damage to his left arm and facial disfigurement.

Mr Ward described the attack in a victim statement read to the court on his behalf.

He said: “I was fast asleep when he stabbed me. I really thought I was going to die.

“I have never known pain like it.”

Zykovas pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

Mr Smith said: “The defendant was due to be returned to Lithuania the following day. He had agreed to return voluntarily, it having been determined that he was not a trafficked individual.”

James Keeley, mitigating, said Zykovas moved from his home country to Manchester in 2011.

He said: “He was treated as a modern day slave, delivering charity bags from door to door for no pay. He received one meal per day. If he did not work he would be beaten with a stick.”

Mr Keeley added that his client had suffered from mental health problems and drank heavily as a result of his experiences. Zykovas must serve a 12 year custodial term followed by a further four year period on licence.

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