Machete attack teen left Leeds schoolgirl with horrific injuries

Shamar Gatewood.
Shamar Gatewood.
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A TEENAGER who left a schoolgirl scarred for life after hitting her in the face with a machete in a street attack has been locked up.

Shamar Gatewood, 17, was sent to a young offenders institution for five years and four months after a court heard he left his victim with horrific injuries including a fractured skull and cheekbone.

The defendant did what he did though misguided loyalty.

Gatewood attacked the schoolgirl when she had been involved in a fight with his 15-year-old girlfriend.

Around 30 other youngsters watched in horror as Gatewood climbed out of a black Mercedes before calmy walking over to her and striking her across the face with it.

Leeds Crown Court heard the victim was left rolling on the floor “trying to hold her head together” and feared she was about to die.

The blow from the two-foot long blade left her with a fractured skull and a fractured cheekbone. A metal shard was later removed from her face.

A judge lifted reporting restrictions to allow the YEP to name Gatewood because of the severity of his crime.

Gatewood carried out the attack on January 5 this year behind shops on Lingfield Drive, Moortown.

The victim and Gatewood’s girlfriend had met up there after arranging to have a fight with each other after exchanging messages on Facebook.

A group of other teenagers watched as the victim got the better of the other girl during the fight.

Gatewood then arrived in a car which was driven by one of his relatives. He got out of the vehicle and walked across to her holding the weapon.

Andrew Horton, prosecuting, said: “They looked into each other’s eyes. Without provocation she was struck by him in the face.”

The youngster later described what happened to her. She said: “I just lay there holding my head together and thought I was going to die. I didn’t feel like I had my face there.”

She has been left with a permanent scar, 15 cm long, running from her ear to just below her eye.

Gatewood was arrested shortly after the attack and picked out at an identity parade. He pleaded guilty to wounding with intent.

Mark McKone, mitigating, said Gatewood wished to make a public apology to the victim.

He said: “Nothing which I say is meant to underestimate the impact on the complainant and her family.”

He added: “The background seems insignificant now when aired in an open courtroom but to a 17-year-old it seemed more important at the time.

“The defendant’s girlfriend had come off worse and had been injured. Within a matter of seconds the defendant did what he did through misguided loyalty.”

Judge Guy Kearl, QC, said: “It seems to me that there was a degree of planning involved because you armed yourself in advance before getting into the car. This was in my view a moment of stupidity.”

Detective Inspector Sean Duggan, of Leeds District CID, said: “Gatewood was responsible for an appallingly violent attack where the victim, a teenage girl, was struck across the face with a weapon similar to a meat cleaver or machete. She was left with very serious injuries that required significant hospital treatment and left her very badly traumatised.

“Gatewood is clearly a dangerous individual and the significant sentence he has received shows how seriously violent crimes of this nature will be treated. We hope it will provide some reassurance to the victim, her family and the wider community to see him brought to justice.”