Judge tells Leeds axeman that lengthy jail term is 'inevitable' as he admits more offences

A Leeds man who was arrested following a three-day manhunt has been told to expect a lengthy custodial sentence after admitting further crimes.

Tuesday, 3rd April 2018, 7:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd April 2018, 7:31 pm

David Riley became the focus of a major police investigation when he was involved in a crash, a robbery and the theft of a bike in the space of a few hours on February 10 this year.

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Axeman who sparked Leeds police manhunt admits robbery and driving offences

Reports that he was armed with an axe also prompted the decision to put Leeds Beckett University’s Headingley campus on lockdown.

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It had been expected that Riley would be sentenced when he appeared at Leeds Crown Court today.

The 36-year-old had previously admitted robbery, theft of a bicycle, failing to stop after an accident and dangerous driving.

Instead, the prosecution asked that he enter pleas to two additional charges relating to events on February 10.

Riley admitted affray and making threats with an axe, but denied an existing charge of attempted robbery for which he had not yet given a plea.

The court heard that the prosecution would not be providing evidence in relation to that charge.

Recorder Paul Greaney QC agreed to adjourn the case until May 30 to allow the prosecution to secure personal impact statements from the various victims in the case.

They include those threatened with an axe and a Spanish national who has returned home for medical treatment.

The man had been riding a bike when he was hit by a van driven by Riley at the junction of Scott Hall Road and North Street at about 5.30pm.

Riley, of Nowell Crescent, Harehills, then fled the scene in another van and was seen close to the Arndale Centre in Headingley a short time later.

He is believed to have abandoned the second van, used an axe to remove a secured bicycle and later dumped the bike when he disappeared into woodland near St Chad’s Rise.

The court heard that Riley’s legal team would be seeking an expert report to estabish whether he was suffering from a psychiatric disorder at the time of the offences.

Mr Greaney told him: “It is inevitable that there will be a custodial sentence of some length in your case.”