Woman in Halton Moor was ‘dragged across garden by her hair’, Leeds council hearing told

A woman was dragged across a garden by her hair after witnessing her partner suffer a “sustained” beating, a public hearing has been told.

By David Spereall
Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 4:44 pm

The assaults, which took place close to Halton Moor Boxing Club in east Leeds, left one of the victims with “potentially life-changing injuries,” according to police.

Now, the boxing club has been refused a licence to host an upcoming event, after the authorities linked the venue to the attacks, which happened in the early hours of October 17 last year.

Police said there was a “cloud of fear” hanging over the club, on Cartmell Drive, which left members reluctant to help with the investigation.

Halton Moor Boxing Club,

Multiple arrests have been made, but no-one has been charged over the incident.

In a written submission ahead of a licensing hearing on Tuesday, the club’s secretary strongly denied any link between the venue and the attack.

She accused the police of being “judgmental” and “prejudicial” towards members in its enquiries, which remain ongoing.

Speaking to councillors at the hearing, PC Andy Clifford from West Yorkshire Police’s licensing department, told how a number of Polish men had entered the club on the night of the incident and tried to buy a drink.

After a conversation between them started in Polish, it was said that “the mood changed” and they were assaulted by people at the venue, where a boxing event had taken place that evening.

The men departed the club, but one returned inside after realising he’d left his coat and house keys behind.

PC Clifford said: “He’s been met by people from the club and the assault has continued at a residential address which is essentially next door.

“The assault has been a sustained beating where there’s been really serious injuries – fractured jaw, fractured eye sockets.

“There’s been a lot of surgery involved and potentially life-changing injuries.”

PC Clifford said the victim’s partner, who lived nearby, was woken by the commotion and went to the scene, adding: “She’s been assaulted for coming out and seeing what’s happened and been dragged by her hair across a garden.”

PC Clifford described the boxing club’s secretary as “pleasant but unwilling to help in any meaningful way.”

He told councillors: “There’s almost a suggestion that people don’t want to speak to the police, because they don’t want to be seen speaking to the police, because of the area that they live in.

“They don’t want to put their families at risk.

“There’s a cloud of fear over the club where if something happens it’s dealt with internally and it’s ‘do not speak to the police’.

“For me that’s unacceptable. You can’t have injuries where someone’s had their jaw broken in the incident. It’s linked to the club.”

Asked by Councillor Alice Smart if the victims’ nationality was a factor in the attacks, PC Clifford replied: “One of the victims said in their statement that when they started speaking in Polish that was when the mood changed.

“I’m not sure if they were going as far as to say they were attacked because they were Polish, but they did say certainly when they spoke Polish that changed things and the assault then happened.”

No-one from Halton Moor Boxing Club attended Tuesday’s hearing.

However, in a redacted written submission sent ahead of the hearing, club secretary Rachel Radbourne said: “On

Saturday October 17 I was present at the event all night, we had three security operatives…and there were no issues at all.

“I do recall three very intoxicated males, that were not members of the club, nor had they attended the boxing show that had finished at that time, entered the club uninvited.

“They were refused alcohol at the bar as they were so intoxicated and were asked to leave.

“I believe that these three males are the same individuals that the police are referring to.

“Neither myself, any club member nor the security operatives present witnessed any assault or public disorder incident within the club or immediately outside the club premises.”

Following deliberations however, the panel of three councillors refused the club’s application for a temporary licence to host a single day event.

In a joint statement read to the hearing, the committee said they were “extremely concerned at the apparent lack of assistance provided by the club to the police in their investigation following the incident.”

David Spereall, Local Democracy Reporting Service