News | Thugs tell student: "we will kill you" in Burley attack

A student has been brutally attacked by a pair of “sadistic” thugs who drove a pair of scissors through his hand.

The attack, which happened near Burley Park station, saw the attackers jump on the scissors, forcing them through the victim’s hand, before threatening to cut off his ear and ram the scissors through his feet too.

One of the assailants told the student “We will kill you. We are professionals. We do this a lot” as one of them smashed a glass bottle, holding it against the victim’s throat.


The nerve damage to the student’s hand means he can no longer write and may not be able to finish his degree.

The ordeal, on October 14, lasted over two hours, as the muggers made the student hand over his bank cards and pin numbers, before one drew out £200 from the victim’s account from a cash machine near the Co-op supermarket while the other held him captive.

The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, managed to obtain a pair of scissors to defend himself but was overpowered in a struggle with the attacker, who grabbed them and said: “I’m going to stick these through your hand.”

Leeds Crown Court heard on Wednesday that the attackers were intoxicated with crack cocaine, premium strength lager, methadone and heroin when they assaulted the student.

Richard Holmes was jailed for over eight years. Adam Mather, who is 36 years old and has a history of serious violent offences, was given a 15 year sentence. Both pleaded guilty to robbery and wounding with intent.

Judge Geoffrey Mason QC said: “One cannot begin to imagine the terror that this victim must have felt. There was what can only be described as a sadistic use of violence.”

Detective Inspector John Dexter said the incident has had an “unmeasurably traumatic impact” on the victim and “left him with lasting physical injuries which have jeopardised his future.”

Charlotte Warner, the Union’s Welfare officer told LS: “I was shocked to hear about this dreadful incident but pleased that the perpetrators have been successfully prosecuted and are no longer a threat to innocent members of the public. Attacks like this are rare but students should continue to avoid walking through dimly lit areas at night and to alert the police if they feel unsafe or see anybody behaving suspiciously.  You can get information on how you can stay safe in Leeds via the Knowledge”.

Rehema Figueiredo

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