Leeds: Cold blooded killers are ‘cowards not gangsters’

Luke Toner.
Luke Toner.
Have your say

FOUR gang members who blasted a father to death in his own home as his four-year-old son slept in the next room have been given minimum jail terms totalling 90 years.

Cyrus Hanley, Colin Webster, Luke Toner and Jake Looby were yesterday described as “immature and cowardly” by a judge for the murder of 21-year-old Jordan Stapleton.

The killers – who called themselves the S Gang – carried out the shotgun execution as they believed Jordan was a police informant who had “snitched” on his cousin Hanley for dealing drugs.

As he imposed life sentences on all four men, Mr Justice Coulson told them: “There can be no doubt that all four of you are immature – almost painfully so.

“You three – Looby, Toner and Webster – you are white kids trying to talk with a West Indian accent. You Cyrus Hanley are a smirking fantasist. You all believe you are gangsters.

“You are only gangsters in your empty heads. Shooting a man in his bathroom – four against one – doesn’t make you a gangster. It makes you a coward.”

Mr Stapleton was shot in the chest at his home on Beckhill Chase, Meanwood, Leeds, on April 16 this year as he was at home with his son.

Police described how the four men, who were involved in dealing drugs in the city, left a trail of amateurish clues after the shooting which linked them to the killing. Looby made a 999 call to the police shortly afterwards in which he tried to disguise his voice and refused to give his name.

All four men were convicted of murder after a six-week trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Hanley, 19, of Miles Hill View, and Webster, 19, of Bayswater Row, Harehills, were told they must serve a minimum of 24 years in jail before they can be considered for release. Toner, 20, of Beckhill Chase, must serve a minimum of 22 years. Looby, 19, of Miles Hill Street, must serve at least 20 years.

Jordan’s mother, Samantha Wray, described how she would never be able to forgive the killers for depriving her of her only son.

In her victim personal statement, Mrs Wray said: “I have sat in court through the trial, listening to the evidence, and this has added to my anger and grief.

“Luke Toner was brought up on the same street and he would play with Jordan when they were younger. Jake Looby lived in the area and knew Jordan.

“Cyrus is Jordan’s cousin and was the person he trusted the most. I am disgusted and hurt that Cyrus could have done this.

“They planned together to murder my only son and leave his son without his only parent. They have shown absolutely no remorse.

“No sentence imposed will ever make up for this or for the empty place in our lives.”

Days Out: Hull’s Muesums