A MAN and a teenager were given life sentences for the brutal murder of a Bradford builder who was dragged into the street while unconscious and left to die.

Paul Ackroyd, 37, a much-loved son and father, was attacked at a flat in Jinnah Court, Manningham, Bradford, in the early hours of February 23, 2019.

Alex Bates, 19, of Eastfield Gardens, Holme Wood, Bradford, was detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure for a minimum term of 14 years and 358 days.

Rashpal Singh Gill, 40, of Leeds Road, Bradford, was jailed for a minimum term of 11 years and 358 days.

They were convicted of murder after a trial at Bradford Crown Court.

Mohammed Jawaid Khan, 53, of Leylands Lane, Heaton, Bradford, who was cleared of murder but found guilty of assisting an offender, was imprisoned for a total of four years for that offence and conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Bates and Khan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, and Gill admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine, before the trial started.

In December 2019, Bates admitted seven counts of supplying heroin and crack cocaine for the Lloyd Line ‘ring and bring’ dealing organisation. He also admitted an assault by beating for his role in a group attack on a man in the street. He was given concurrent sentences for the drugs offences.

Mr Ackroyd, known as Acky, had gone to the Jinnah Court flat to buy crack cocaine.

Prosecutor Peter Moulson QC said that an estimated £200,000 worth of Class A drugs were sold from the flat in the six months before Mr Ackroyd was murdered.

A hammer was found behind a curtain at the address and wheel braces, a chisel and a skewer were also seized from there by the police.

Mr Ackroyd sustained multiple blunt force impacts to the head, including a fracture of the left temporal bone.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Richard Mansell QC, said Mr Ackroyd, the father of two teenage daugh-ters, was only 37 when he was lost to his family.

He was described by his lifelong friend as “a party animal” whose search for crack cocaine that night cost him his life.

Gill took him to the Jinnah Court flat where Bates was on “the night shift” selling Class A drugs.

Mr Ackroyd was shown into the living room and something went wrong with the negotiations, Judge Man-sell said.

Bates put him to the floor and exacted swift and lethal punishment. Gill joined in with a possible kick or stamp to the head.

Bates and Gill continued to attack Mr Ackroyd as he lay defenceless on the floor.

Bates and Khan then manhandled the unconscious and dying man out of the flat and left him in the street. Bates then delivered a final heavy blow probably with a hammer that caused a catastrophic brain injury.

He left the area by taxi taking the weapon away with him after making sure Mr Ackroyd would not recover from his injuries, Judge Mansell said.

Kirsty Rushworth, who called an ambulance for Mr Ackroyd, was acquitted yesterday by the jury of assist-ing an offender.

In mitigation for Bates, who was 17 at the time, Jo Sidhu QC stated that he did not mete out all the violence on his own. There was no evidence that the “armoury of weapons” at the flat belonged to him.

He had written to the judge showing insight into the consequences of his actions on Mr Ackroyd’s family and he was very remorseful.

Bates’ mother, sister and partner, had been in court supporting him and he would be separated from them for a very long time. He was a promising student in his early teens and he had the potential to do some-thing constructive with his life.

Balbir Singh, Gill’s barrister, said it was a spontaneous incident likely as a result of something said or done by Mr Ackroyd to which the response by Bates was wholly out of proportion.

“It’s unlikely that there was an intention to kill here,” Mr Singh said.

Gill had a long-standing history of anxiety and depression. He was now drug free and had the support of his family.

In mitigation for Khan, Abdul Iqbal QC said he was now 53 with a chronic heart condition.

He helped to move the injured Mr Ackroyd a few yards and the police and emergency services were soon on the scene. The murder investigation was not hampered significantly by his actions.

He was a customer in the drugs supply chain rather than a supplier. He was a hopeless drug addict with no extravagances in his life.

A BRADFORD drug dealer who turned his home into a heroin factory was jailed for six and a half years.

Afraz Sheikh was already serving a prison sentence of six years imposed at York Crown Court in November for drug trafficking offences.

The new jail term was imposed concurrently after he was caught red-handed with an industrial press, bulking agent, scales, dust masks and dealer bags at his then address in Galsworthy Avenue, Heaton. No drugs were found but Sheikh’s fingerprints were on the press and there were traces of heroin on the equip-ment.

Sheikh, 31, of Nearcliffe Road, Heaton, was brought to Bradford Crown Court from prison after pleading guilty to being concerned in the production of heroin on March 5, 2019, and dangerous driving and possession of cannabis on July 24, 2019.

Prosecutor Tayo Dasaolu said he was arrested after the police were tipped off that he was delivering drugs paraphernalia to the Galsworthy Avenue address.

He was already under police investigation for the drug trafficking offences dating from 2018.

The offence of dangerous driving was committed in Farfield Terrace, Manningham, Bradford, at 10pm, Miss Dasaolu said.

Sheikh was spotted on his phone while at the wheel of a VW Golf. He sped off discarding a bag containing £4,000 in cash and a package of cannabis.

During the short police pursuit, the car struck bins, mounted the kerb and hit metal bollards. Sheikh ran off but he was apprehended.

Afraz Sheikh

Afraz Sheikh

His barrister, Andrea Parnham, said that when Sheikh was arrested in 2018, a large amount of cash and drugs were seized by the police.

The dealers he was working for wanted him to make up that loss and he was ordered to continue in the drugs trade against his will.

Sheikh was employed in the motor trade before he was jailed three months ago, Miss Parnham told the court.

Recorder Judy Dawson said the heroin production was a sophisticated set-up that included a large industrial style press for use after the drug had been bulked up with the cutting agent.

Sheikh had tried to claim he was only making a delivery at the property but he was the registered occupier and the bills were in his name.

He was jailed for six years for being concerned in the production of heroin and six months to run consecutively for the dangerous driving. He was banned from driving for four years and three months.

The sentence will run concurrently with the six years he was already serving.

TWO men who wielded weapons in an altercation on a Bradford street in broad daylight were jailed.

Gary Michael Priestley, 27, and Allen Nelson, 21, were locked up for their part in a gang fight in Grayswood Crescent, Holme Wood.

Gary Ian Priestley, 45, father of Gary Michael Priestley, avoided jail for his part in the incident.

The men went to the street looking for revenge after a member of the Priestley family had been assaulted.

They travelled by car to Grayswood Crescent and once they arrived, they began wielding weapons, including a sword and a bar.

Frightened neighbours looked on as the fight took place in broad daylight, including in a garden.

The incident was captured by concerned neighbours who filmed the 20-minute-long ‘ugly scene’ on their mobile phones.

Gary Michael Priestley and Nelson were ‘at the forefront of repeated attempts at violence’ and they each took on a ‘leading role’.

Nelson took possession of a sword during the incident. Once he had it, Nelson ‘wielded it in an obvious and hugely dangerous fashion’ and threatened to attack people, Bradford Crown Court was told.

Nelson was described as acting as a ‘wingman’ on that day. He also wielded the sword in a ‘most threatening manner’ in the incident, which took place on April 20 last year.

Other weapons spotted at the scene included poles, knives and a crossbow.

Nelson, of Rouse Street, Liversedge, was jailed for 16 months for affray and 12 months, to run concurrently, for possession of an offensive weapon.

Gary Michael Priestley has been jailed for 20 months for affray following a street fight in Grayswood Crescent, Holme Wood, in April last year

Gary Michael Priestley has been jailed for 20 months

Gary Michael Priestley, of Farringdon Square, Bradford, was jailed for 20 months for affray and eight months, to run concurrently for possession of an offensive weapon.

Gary Ian Priestley, of Shirley Parade, Gomersal, was handed a 12-month community order and told to carry out 60 hours unpaid work in the community for an affray charge.

All three men were also handed a restraining order preventing them from going to Grayswood Crescent in Holme Wood for three years.

Recorder Christopher Smith told the men they were being sentenced for an ‘ugly and violent piece of public disorder’ and what he described as a ‘prolonged example of lawless behaviour’.

The judge added: “You turned a quiet neighbourhood into a pitched battle. In April last year, you each got involved in a nasty piece of vigilantism. Each of you bear responsibility for what took place.

“Very serious injury could have ensued on either side. This was an incident that occurred in broad daylight.”

He told Gary Ian Priestley: “This unhappy incident was in small part of your making. You drove others to the scene.

“You could have had the sense to calm things down. You foolishly had a role in bringing this unhappy episode to pass.”

A MAN was imprisoned after more than 21,000 indecent images of children, some as young as six months old, were found on his computer.

Dean Faulkner, 36, had a collection of 21,113 indecent images of children across four electronic devices.

He was found to have access to, and downloaded; 'base, disgusting and revolting imagery'.

The indecent images were downloaded by Faulkner between October 2014 and July 2019, the day of his arrest, Bradford Crown Court heard.

On this day in July 2019, Faulkner was visited by an officer relating to his sexual harm prevention order, in place for previous offences. His electronic devices were searched where the indecent images were dis-covered.

Faulkner was searching for these images, both still and moving, on the dark web via a private browser.

He was accessing the material while his partner of 10 years was sleeping upstairs.

Dean Faulkner

Dean Faulkner

He also made the material that he collected available for other individuals to download on the dark web, as there was evidence of file sharing software on his computer, prosecutor Rebecca Young said.

Faulkner was accessing indecent images on a daily basis at one point. He was later interviewed by police, where he said he needed help with his addiction to such material.

Faulkner, of Mayo Avenue, Bradford, was jailed for three years and nine months for six offences of making indecent photographs of children, possession of prohibited images of children, possessing an extreme pornographic image of a sexual act between an adult and a dog.

He was also sentenced for breaching a sexual offences prevention order made against him in January 2014.

Faulkner has a number of previous convictions including gross indecency and 21 counts of possession of indecent images of children.

Andrew Semple, mitigating, said Faulkner had sufficient candour to fully accept the charges against him.

Mr Semple added Faulkner's addiction to pornography increased when he was made redundant and having an 'isolated life'.

Faulkner, who pleaded guilty to the charges against him at an earlier hearing, was also placed under a sexual harm prevention order for the rest of his life.

Describing Faulkner as a 'potential danger', Judge Jonathan Rose said: "You opened your computer to other like-minded paedophiles. You derived sexual pleasure out of watching the abuse and defilement of children in a sexual way.”

A MAN who single-handedly grew two commercial scale cannabis crops worth potentially around a quarter of a million pounds was jailed for four and a half years.

Lyndon Haley set up the factories at two houses in Halifax to pay off a debt run up to feed his £100 a day cocaine addiction, Bradford Crown Court heard.

Haley, 37, of Ovenden Way, Ovenden, Halifax, pleaded guilty to two offences of production of the Class B drug.

Prosecutor Clare Walsh said the first grow was discovered at an address in Clare Street on July 28, 2019.

Three rooms had been turned into a sophisticated grow with lighting, fans and filters. The windows were covered and there was a 400 litre water butt on the first floor.

Miss Walsh said the mature plants would have yielded up to £44.571 in street deals. A second grow of 252 plants in propagators uplifted the potential value of the crop to £137,000.

Haley told the police he was growing the crop to give to drug dealers he owed money to.

He was released under investigation and three months later he was caught at a second grow he had set up, this time in the town’s Diamond Street.

Again, he was using an end terrace property and this time the cellar and three bedrooms had been turned over to the growing of cannabis.

Holes had been drilled in the steps and the walls and there were three 400 litre water butts in the bathroom. The police also seized timers, fans and filters, Miss Walsh stated.

Lyndon Haley

Lyndon Haley

The estimated value of the first grow at the address was £49,542, with a follow-on crop with a potential financial yield of £50,400.

Haley had 31 convictions for 63 offences but nothing for similar matters, the court was told.

In mitigation, it was said that he had been a cocaine user for 20 years and was in the grip of an addiction when he committed the offences.

He had spent every penny of his Universal Credit on his £100 a day habit and borrowed money from drug dealers, racking up a large debt.

His was “a one man operation” and he would not have received any money from the crops for himself.

Judge Jonathan Rose jailed Haley for 22 months for the first crop, with 32 months to run consecutively for the second grow.

“These were professional set-ups with a significant yield for commercial use,” he said.

The crops could have started fires that endangered the neighbours or attracted violent criminals intent on stealing the plants, Judge Rose said.

He set a timetable for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.