‘Wicked’ thug jailed over crowbar attack on bed-ridden Leeds man

Christopher Hartley.
Christopher Hartley.
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A violent criminal who led a gang which left a stroke victim with a fractured skull and slashed his arms and legs as he lay bed-ridden has been given a sentence of more than 17 years.

Christopher Hartley, 26, was part of the masked gang which targeted the vulnerable 59-year-old victim and his 79-year-old mother as she was caring for him at their home in Leeds.

A court heard they forced their way into the property and told the mother: “The old man upstairs is going to get it and so are you.”

The victim was hit over the head three times with a crowbar as they demanded to know where his money and the morphine to help relieve his pain was kept.

A knife was also used to cut his arms and legs.

They then ransacked the property and stole televisions, mobile phones and other equipment along with morphine and other drugs from the house in the Ireland Wood area of the city.

Describing the attack, judge Rodney Jameson, QC, said: “Judges are probably wise to restrain their use of the word ‘wicked’, But if ever there was a case that warranted the undiluted use of the word wicked - it was this one.”

In a separate incident, Hartley broke a pensioner’s jaw in a random attack on Town Street, Armley, in November last year.

Hartley, of Brooklands Lane, Seacroft, turned violent towards the 70-year-old victim when he refused to give in to his demands to hand over cigarettes and money.

Hartley was arrested in March this year after he drove dangerously through Leeds city centre while drunk in charge of a motorbike.

He mounted pavements and drove through red light during the police pursuit. When officers managed to pull him off the scooter and apprehend him he told them: “I’m like Al Capone.”

Follow gang member Ryan Slattery, 18, of Ramshead Approach, Seacroft was locked up for six years and nine months earlier this month after pleading guilty to aggravated burglary and causing grievous bodily harm.

Hartley, 26, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, wounding with intent, causing grievous bodily harm, dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen of blood.

Hartley’s case had been adjourned at the earlier hearing as the judge wanted to consider whether to impose an extended prison to protect the public. Hartley refused to leave his cell at Armley jail to attend his sentencing hearing.

The judge said he must serve two-thrids of a 14-and-half-year prison sentence and then remain on licence for a further three years.

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