Three men who planned an attack on a Bradford teenager, which ended in his death, have been jailed for a total of 20 years.
Alex Holroyd, 19, was fatally stabbed in the chest in a targeted attack because he did not like Asians, Leeds Crown Court was told today.
Mr Holroyd was followed before he was attacked by two of the men, Hanif Mohammed and Johannis Thompson, in a side street.
Mohammed lashed out at Mr Holroyd with a knife he had brought from home. Mr Holroyd suffered a six-inch deep wound which penetrated his lung. He staggered for some distance before collapsing in the road and died in hospital.
Prosecutor Alastair Macdonald QC said the victim was targeted because he had previously been involved in incidents of violence with racial overtones with young Asian men.
Mr Macdonald said the attack in Todmorden in January, had been planned since at least November.
Mohammed, 45, of Stansfield Road, Todmorden, had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Thompson, 44, of Springwell Drive, West Bowling, and Mohammed Javid Afsar, 35, of Fagley Place, Fagley, had both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.
Mr Macdonald said Mohammed claimed that Mr Holroyd was a racist and a bully but that was not accepted by the Crown, though Mr Holroyd did have previous convictions and there had been incidents of racial abuse in the past.
The recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC said all three defendants had agreed Mr Holroyd should be given a beating. It was at Mohammed’s instigation and he recruited the others.
The Judge said they had bided their time to seek him out and exact vengeance.
The Judge continued: “Together you tracked his movements and stalked him for over an hour. You were prepared to wait until the moment was right.”
He said Mohammed and Thompson lay in wait and attacked Mr Holroyd in a quiet street corner out of sight of cameras.
“Exactly what happened only you and he know. I doubt the whole truth has come out.”
The court heard Mohammed had harmed himself with a knife to scare the deceased and had instinctively lashed out.
The Judge said: “Carrying knives is a curse on the streets of our towns and cities. The court must make clear that the carrying and producing of knives will attract significant sentences.”
He said grievances had to be dealt with by lawful means. “Those who take the law into their own hands to punish people, whether they deserve it or now, will find themselves severely punished.”
A judge said Mohammed was the principle mover in the conspiracy. He was jailed for ten years. Thompson, who had been recruited as the muscle man but did not know that anyone had a weapon, was given a six-year prison sentence. Javid, who’s role was to drive the vehicle, was jailed for four years.
Speaking from the court, Detective Superintendent Chris Thompson, of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “It is clear that Alex Holroyd had been in dispute with a group of men in Todmorden, including Hanif Mohammed, for some time.
“As a result, Mohammed has sought the assistance of Johannis Thompson and Mohammed Javid Afsar as contract of payment to deal with Alex. Thompson is a known violent criminal and together they have plotted to cause Alex serious harm.
“On the night in question the three men have stalked Alex through the streets of Todmorden looking for an opportunity to attack him. Thompson and Mohammed have lain wait for him and in a violent attack Alex has lost his life.
“This is a cynical and cowardly crime which has resulted in the needless and tragic death of a 19-year-old man.
“Once again we are faced with the awful consequences of knife crime on young people and communities. While the court has accepted there is no intention to kill when people plan to cause serious harm and carry knives, there is always the potential for this to escalate into violence and loss of life.”