Week of dramatic developments at Bradford Crown Court -here’s a racap of serious cases

A MAN who disguised himself as a delivery driver to carry out a terror attack on his ex-partner in her Bradford home was jailed for three years.

Mohammed Amir Ali wore a mask and gloves to bring a parcel to the door before lunging at her, grabbing her by the throat and forcing her into the living room.

He had a length of rope and a roll of silver Duck Tape with him for the sustained and planned assault on May 23, prosecutor James Lake said.

Ali, 31, of Holly Street, Blackburn, Lancashire, began to strangle the woman with the rope but it was only when his mask fell off in the struggle that she realised who it was, the court was told.

Ali put tape over her mouth and round the back of her head, threatening: “You’re going to die today. I’m going to prison.’ He taped his victim’s wrists behind her back and put more tape round her mouth to stifle her screams.

He then put two white pills into her mouth telling her they were sleeping tablets.

Mr Lake said that a teenage girl cowering in fear upstairs managed to make a whispered 999 call to the police.

Ali forced his ex-partner upstairs and injured the child’s arm when he grabbed her phone, breaking the glass.

He threatened to take his victims with him, saying: “We’ve got two cars outside.”

Ali then removed the tape from around the woman’s head, pulling some of her hair out in the process.

She shouted out of the window that she had been tied up.

Ali went downstairs and opened the door the police. He made no comment when he was questioned.

The woman was taken to hospital with injuries to her neck and arms. Hair found on the tape confirmed her account that it had been wrapped round her head and her neck injury was consistent with a rope being put around it.

She said in her victim personal statement that she had problems sleeping afterwards and suffered flashbacks. She suffered with back pain and had undergone counselling for anxiety. She was now afraid when people arrived unannounced at her door.

Ali pleaded guilty to breach of a non-molestation order, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, assault by beating and criminal damage.

The court heard that he had no previous convictions.

Michael Collins said in mitigation that Ali intended to move back to Blackpool where his family lived.

He had been remanded in prison since the offences, spending most of the day in his cell.

Judge Andrew Hatton said Ali brought rope and gaffer tape with him for the pre-planned attack on his former partner.

“It’s difficult to imagine the terror she must have experienced,” he said.

He made a five year restraining order banning Ali from having any contact with his victim.

A MOTHER of two was jailed for three years after setting her Bradford home on fire and causing damage of up to £11,000.

Samantha Spencer was relocated to the city by Kent County Council to begin a new life but she turned to Class A drugs and began harassing a neighbour at Bentley Carter Apartments in Little Horton Lane.

On May 12, she set fire to the residential block in the early hours endangering around 35 residents, many of them vulnerable, the court heard.

Spencer, 29, was sentenced on a video link to HMP Newhall after admitting reckless arson, battery and harassment.

Prosecutor Conor Quinn said she set off the fire alarm and when firefighters arrived, she falsely claimed that a young child was in her burning apartment.

Thick black smoke was coming from her room and between £7,000 and £11,000 damage was caused to the flooring, the bed and the walls.

An investigation concluded that Spencer started the fire deliberately using a naked flame on combustible material.

When the police arrived and firefighters pointed her out, she ran back into the building, throwing things into the path of the pursuing officers.

Spencer, who was under the influence of alcohol, returned to her apartment and was arrested by being restrained on the bed, Mr Quinn said.

She was in breach of a conditional discharge and a community order for offences including being drunk and disorderly and assaulting an emergency worker.

She was bailed to an address in Allerton Road, Bradford, before being remanded in custody.

Her solicitor advocate, Saf Salam, said she had mental health problems although a psychiatrist had found her fit to plead.

Mr Salam said the offence of arson was unpremeditated.

Spencer was from the south of England and began using recreational drugs and drinking alcohol in her mid-teens.

She became the mother of two children but her relationship with the father broke down.

In December 2019, Kent County Council offered her the chance to start afresh in Bradford but she complained her apartment was uninhabitable and began using Class A drugs.

Mr Salam said the arson was a cry for help. Spencer did not fully appreciate the gravity of her offending.

She no longer drank alcohol and she was keen to move back to Kent.

Judge Andrew Hatton said many people were endangered by the arson attack.

He imprisoned Spencer for 32 months, with consecutive sentences totalling four months for the battery and harassment of two women neighbours at the apartment block.

A Bradford man serving a life sentence for murder has been granted Leave to Appeal his conviction and sentence.

Tony Grant, 40, was jailed for a minimum of 17 years at Bradford Crown Court on May 1 last year for the murder of Amriz Iqbal, known as Major.

On Tuesday, the court heard from his solicitor advocate, Simon Hustler, that he has been given Leave to Appeal.

In July last year, the T&A reported that both Grant, known as Granty, and his co-accused Mohammed Nisar Khan, known as Meggy, had lodged appeals against their convictions and sentences.

Khan, of Holme Lane, Tong, Bradford, was sentenced to a minimum term of 26 years for Mr Iqbal’s murder. He was convicted by a jury of deliberately running him over in Sandford Road, Bradford Moor.

He was also found guilty of attempting to murder Mr Iqbal’s friend, Adnan Ahmed, who was crossing the road with him.

Mr Iqbal and Mr Ahmed were flung in the air by a silver Kia Sedona shortly after 1pm on October 3, 2018. Mr Iqbal, 40, of Curzon Road, Bradford Moor, sustained an unsurvivable injury when his head struck a tree. Mr Ahmed was treated in hospital for a dislocated shoulder.

Mr Hustler told Judge Richard Mansell QC that Grant was contesting a ruling to confiscate a BMW car the Crown says was used as a getaway vehicle in the case.

Grant, of Queens Road, Bradford, wanted to overturn a deprivation order on the BMW made by Judge Mansell on September 11.

No one appeared for the defence at that hearing when David Gordon for the Crown said the car was used as a getaway vehicle after Mr Iqbal’s murder.

Mr Hustler said the BMW belonged to Redline Motors but both Grant and his wife had an interest in it.

Judge Mansell granted permission for Grant’s defence team to appeal against the confiscation ruling at a full hearing on November 3.

The offices of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division in London confirmed that Grant’s appeal against conviction and sentence had passed the initial single judge procedure. A date had not yet been fixed for a hearing by the Full Court.

Khan’s appeal against conviction and sentence was yet to go through the single judge procedure.

A MAN was jailed for nine months for burgling the former Bradford Bulls Odsal Stadium and causing wanton damage of £20,000.

Three intruders smashed glasses in the bar at the Southbank Stand and deliberately damaged a large television set, laptops and projectors in the overnight raid on July 31, 2018.

One of the burglars, Kyle Gandy-Feeney, was netted by the police after leaving his DNA on a bottle of gin he was caught on CCTV swigging from behind the bar.

He pleaded guilty to the burglary and was jailed on a video link to HMP Leeds.

Since committing the offence, he had been sentenced to two years’ detention for an attempted robbery, the court was told. After he was released, he breached the conditions of his licence and was locked up again.

Prosecutor Maryam Ahmad said the stadium was left secure the day before the break-in which was discovered at nine o’clock the following morning.

A balcony window had been smashed and broken items were strewn all over the floor.

The intruders had helped themselves to drinks behind the bar and caused wanton damage before escaping with four Apple iPads.

The court heard that club officials reported that the stadium had been repeatedly targeted by burglars and they could not afford to replace the high-value stolen and damaged items.

Miss Ahmad said it was a Category One burglary committed by a group of intruders who caused deliberate damage.

She conceded the considerable delay in bringing the case to court, saying it was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service by the police in September last year.

Ayman Khokhar said in mitigation that Gandy-Feeney, now 21, was 19 at the time. It was more than two years since the burglary and he had been dealt with for other offences since then.

In December, 2018, he was sent to a young offender institution for two years for an attempted robbery. After he was released, he was recalled to custody for breaching the terms of his licence by not residing at the hostel where he was ordered to live.

Mr Khokhar said Gandy-Feeney, whose address is listed as HMP Leeds, was now keen to rebuild his life.

“He wants to find work and put his offending behind him,” he said.

Judge Andrew Hatton told Gandy-Feeney the burglary had caused “significant community impact.”

“The place burgled was a very important part of the local community,” he said.

But there had been significant delay in bringing the case to court that remained largely unexplained.

Gandy-Feeney had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had since served a custodial sentence.

A “DRUNKEN thug” who punched a man to the floor in a public house and kicked him five times was jailed for 18 months.

John Sutcliffe attacked his victim after words were exchanged in the Great Northern Inn on Halifax Road in Keighley at 10pm on August 9 last year.

Sutcliffe, 32, of Beck Road, Micklethwaite, Bingley, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

It was an incident of “appalling, gratuitous violence,” Judge Andrew Hatton said when he sentenced him.

The court heard that the victim had no recollection of the attack, which left him unconscious, but the incident had been captured on CCTV which was played in the courtroom.

The man sustained a fractured right eye socket and cuts to his face when Sutcliffe punched him to the floor and followed up the assault with further punches and five kicks.

He said in his victim personal statement that he was unable to open his eyes for some time afterwards and he had suffered with headaches. He had to take three weeks off work and the incident had affected his self-confidence when going out.

The court heard that Sutcliffe knocked down another man when he tried to intervene.

He had served two previous jail sentences for offences of violence.

In June, 2013, he was locked up for four months after a drunken incident in which a man’s arm was slashed with a kitchen knife.

The following year, he was imprisoned for 20 months for his part in a group attack outside a public house in Keighley in which a man suffered a broken jaw.

Judge Hatton said of the latest incident: “This was appalling, gratuitous violence in a public place.”

He continued: “It was a sustained attack with a number of blows with fists and feet.”

Judge Hatton told Sutcliffe: “You have previous convictions for violence of a remarkably similar nature.”

Although character references spoke highly of him, and of the hardship that would be caused if he was jailed, Judge Hatton said he was unable to suspend the sentence.

He added: “You are simply a thug in drink.”

An attacker who terrified a Bradford family by hurling an ashtray at a woman’s head and assaulting a youth with a claw hammer has been labelled a public danger and given a five-year extended prison sentence.

Alan Thorpe also injured two small children caught up in the vodka-fuelled incident in the early hours of August 4, Bradford Crown Court heard.

Thorpe, 36, of Mather Street, Eccles, Manchester, must serve up to three years and four months behind bars before being let out on extended licence for one year and eight months.

He pleaded guilty to four counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was sentenced on a video link to Leeds Prison after he was recalled on licence after serving a sentence for harassing a person.

Thorpe’s extensive record for violence included wounding with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, assaulting police officers, inflicting grievous bodily harm, robbery and battery.

The court heard he had racked up 33 previous conviction for 76 offences.

Prosecutor Geraldine Kelly said the violence erupted at the woman’s Bradford flat when Thorpe smashed a vodka bottle and pointed the jagged neck towards her. He then threw an ashtray, striking her on the head.

He punched her forcibly to the head and grabbed her shoulders while two young children shouted at him to stop.

Family members in another flat heard the commotion and saw Thorpe with his hands round the woman’s neck.

He then picked up a claw hammer from the kitchen and struck a youth who had come to the woman’s aid on the hand.

The two small children were hit in the face when they got caught up in the violence.

Even after the police arrived, Thorpe was grabbing at the woman and trying to put his hand over her mouth, Miss Kelly said.

She suffered a cut head from the ashtray and bruising to her face, neck, chest, arm and leg. The youth sustained a cut to his hand from the hammer. One small child had a bleeding nose and the other a black eye.

Thorpe pleaded guilty to assaulting the children on the basis that his actions were reckless.

His barrister, Giles Bridge, said much of his offending related to his misuse of alcohol and he had stopped drinking.

Judge Andrew Hatton said Thorpe had an extensive record for violence, several of his convictions being for domestic offending.

He had carried out a sustained and repeated assault on the woman, using an ashtray as a weapon, assaulted two small children and injured the youth with a claw hammer.

Thorpe was on licence at the time and under the influence of alcohol.

He had a previous conviction for wounding with intent and Judge Hatton ruled that he posed a serious danger to the public.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus | News