'˜Wicked' schoolboy robbers terrified Leeds woman in her own home

TWO schoolboys who terrorised a woman after forcing their way into her home and stealing her car have been locked up.

Tuesday, 26th April 2016, 11:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th April 2016, 11:14 am

The victim was threatened with a wooden samurai sword by the 14 and 15-year-old robbers when they targeted her home in the Gipton area of Leeds.

Leeds Crown Court heard the victim had been left devastated by the attack, had lost her confidence and had turned her home into “Fort Knox” as she lives in fear of the being targeted again.

Duncan Ritchie, prosecuting, said the woman answered a knock on the front door of her home on Fearnville Road at 7.45pm on February 23 this year to be confronted by the youths

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Both were high on cannabis at the time.

They wore bandanas to cover their faces and were wearing gloves. The 15-year-old was holding a wooden ornamental samurai sword.

The attackers, who cannot be identified, barged their way into the property and forced the victim backwards.

She was then forced onto the sofa by one of the teenagers while the other drew the living room curtains.

Mr Ritchie said: “(The victim) tried to scream but (the 15-year-old) held his hand over her mouth and each time she tried to scream he pushed hard on her face. She tried to scratch him but he told her to stop it.”

They made repeated demands for money and her car keys.

The victim was then marched to her bedroom and told: “Stay here until we have done otherwise we will hurt you.”

The pair then drove off in her car. Police officers spotted the vehicle, which contained five other people including two young woman, being driven on York Road later the same evening

There was a short pursuit after the car failed to stop but it ended when it was driven down a dead end street.

Both teenagers were arrested at the scene. They each pleaded guilty to robbery and theft of a vehicle.

Both boys were made the subject of a detention and training order for two years.

Mr Ritchie read a victim statement on behalf of the victim which stated: “My friends and family knew me to be a very confident person, secure in their life.

“That all changed seven weeks ago on Tuesday February 2013, 2016.

“I have changed. My confidence in myself has taken the biggest hit.

“I question myself constantly about whether I could or should have stopped them barging in to my house.

“I am constantly aware of my surroundings and who is around me.

“My home has changed. It now resembles Fort Knox because of the amount of locks that have been fitted.

“I have to check who is at the door, even though I know my friend has rung to say she is coming over.

“I also think about those boys. They have had their liberty taken from them for what? So they could steal a car and drive some girls around. It seems such a waste of young lives.”

Imposing the custodial sentence, judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “It does not need me to tell you what a terrible and wicked thing it is to invade anyone’s home and to use force and a weapon.

“It must have been a terrifying experience for (the victim).

“I suspect you both now appreciate the long term consequences which your offending had upon her.

“You have undermined her confidence and it may be that she will never recover fully from what you did that night.”