Teenage knifepoint robber carried our random Leeds street stabbing

A teenage robber has been locked up for 18 years after carrying out two random knife attacks in Leeds.

Saturday, 19th May 2018, 5:00 am
Robert Ionita.

A court heard Robert Ionita prowled the streets of Headingley looking for victims to target before stabbing them from behind.

Leeds Crown Court heard Ionita, 19, stabbed a 25-year-old man after he left a pub shortly after 11pm on March 31 this year.

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The victim suffered two stab wounds to the back and one to his shoulder.

Ionita stole his wallet and mobile phone before leaving him covered in blood on the ground.

The victim had to undergo emergency surgery and was left with a permanent 50cm scar to his body.

Ionita targeted a second victim a short time later at a cash machine.

The 22-year-old man suffered injuries to his spine as Ionita thrust the weapon into his back.

He stabbed him again before slashing him across the upper arm.

Police arrested Ionita during a search of the area.

Ionita pleaded guilty to two offences of wounding with intent, robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, read statements from the victims describing how they now feared going out at night.

Patrick Palmer, mitigating, said Ionita was a Romanian national and had no previous convictions.

He said Ionita had been illegally trafficked into the UK.

The attacks were carried out while Ionita was drunk and had taken cannabis.

A probation report assessed Ionita as posing a serious danger to the public and a high risk of re-offending.

The teenager was told he must serve a custodial sentence of 14 years, followed by an extended four-year licence period

Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “No one in this country should have to live in fear, in fear of random attack by a man wielding a knife.

“The courts must, and will pass deterrent sentences on those who carry and use knives on our streets.

“in particular those who use knives to rob.”