Sheffield court round-up: Here are the biggest cases heard this week including manslaughter, assault and drink-driving

A number of serious criminals were brought to justice at Sheffield Crown Court last week – here are some of the biggest cases.

Saturday, 28th May 2022, 9:49 am

Case 1

Sheffield Crown Court heard on May 23 how half-brothers Kyle Martin and Gareth Leach had attacked 45-year-old disabled man Dean Williamson in the street outside his home in Rotherham after they believed Mr Williamson had stolen their mother’s mobility scooter.

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Here is the latest round-up of major cases in Sheffield.

Martin, aged 22, of Selwyn Street, Eastwood, Rotherham, and Leach, 28, of Brameld Road, Swinton, were previously found not guilty of murder by a trial jury after the incident on William Street, at Parkgate, at about 12.45pm, on October 5, 2021.

But the court heard Martin had pleaded guilty to manslaughter following his arrest and Leach had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and to perverting the course of justice just before the trial.

In addition, Sara Martin, 50, of Town Lane, Rotherham, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice by giving accounts which had impeded the investigation by supporting Leach’s untruthful account.

The judge, Mr Justice Robin Knowles CBE, said: “This is a sad, depressing case and one that is not without complexities. The foolish theft of a disability scooter by a disabled man from a disabled woman led to a cowardly, serious attack on the thief by two able-bodied men.”

Pictured is Gareth Leach, aged 28, of Brameld Road, Mexborough, who was found not guilty at Sheffield Crown Court of murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter after the death of Dean Williamson from October 5, 2021.

He sentenced both Kyle Martin and Gareth Leach to nine years of custody each, and he sentenced Sara Martin to 14 months of custody suspended for two years with supervision and a rehabilitation requirement.

Case 2

Sheffield Crown Court heard on May 24 how Dale Bamford, aged 28, of Hartley Brook Road, at Shiregreen, Sheffield, fled from police in a Nissan Micra during a 30 minute pursuit over nearly 20 miles between Penistone Road and the M1 motorway near to Tinsley Viaduct before he crashed.

Pictured is Kyle Martin, aged 22, of Selwyn Street, Rotherham, who was found not guilty at Sheffield Crown Court of murder but admitted manslaughter after the death of Dean Williamson from October 5, 2021.

The court heard police had initially indicated for Bamford to pull-over in the early hours of January 16, last year, but he ignored them and accelerated away at 60mph in a 30mph zone on Penistone Road towards the M1.

Bamford entered the M1 at Junction 35a accelerating up to 80mph in wet conditions with icy roads. He then entered the northbound carriageway of the M1 accelerating to 80mph before he turned his vehicle lights off in heavy rain and lost control on the hard shoulder and collided with a crash barrier.

Bamford, who has previous convictions including two offences of dangerous driving, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and to driving with an excessive amount of a cocaine derivative in his system.

Daniel Ingham, defending, said Bamford was struggling due to a relationship breakdown with his father and he was “self-medicating” by using cocaine.

Pictured is Sara Martin, aged 50, of Town Lane, Rotherham, who pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice in relation to the investigation into the death of Dean Williamson.

The court heard Bamford is also due to be sentenced at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court in June for separate matters after he was convicted following a trial of a public order offence, failing to stop his vehicle and for failing to report an accident after another driving incident from November, 2020.

Recorder Jeremy Barnett sentenced Bamford to 14 months of custody and disqualified him from driving for five years.

Case 3

Sheffield Crown Court heard on May 19 how Shane Thomas, aged 40, of Springfield Close, in Armthorpe, Doncaster, grabbed the woman around the face before ripping her lower clothing off and he later circulated private sexual images of his victim.

Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, said Thomas pushed the complainant backwards and squeezed her jaw, and as he grabbed her by the waist he ripped her lower clothing off.

Dale Bamford was jailed after a high-speed police pursuit while he had cocaine in his system.

Ms Gallagher added Thomas also sent personal private images of the complainant, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, to two people and harassed his victim with insulting messages and threats.

Thomas, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, disclosing private sexual photos and to harassment – all committed between November 2021 and January 2022.

Rebecca Tanner, defending, said he was ‘truly sorry’ for his actions.

Judge Sarah Wright sentenced Thomas to 18 months of custody and imposed a ten-year restraining order to protect the complainant.

Case 4

Sheffield Crown Court heard on May 25 how Haider Ishtiaq, aged 21, of Sturton Road, in Pitsmoor, Sheffield, was followed by police when their automatic number plate recognition system picked up an issue with his BMW vehicle, but the defendant fled.

Prosecuting barrister Adam Keenaghan said the police ANPR was activated but Ishtiaq made off and a pursuit ensued and the defendant went through nine sets of red traffic lights and at one stage reached speeds of 80mph in a 40mph zone.

Defence barrister Damian Broadbent said Ishtiaq had been struggling because both his parents have been ill and his family were out of the country during the pandemic.

Ishtiaq, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving which happened along Ecclesall Road, St Mary’s Road, Forum Street, the A61 and Bochum Parkway in the early hours of October 9, 2021.

The defendant also admitted exceeding the drink-drive limit and to driving without insurance.

Judge Rachael Harrison sentenced Ishtiaq to eight months of custody suspended for 18 months, with 200 hours of unpaid work, a rehabilitation requirement and a three-month tagged curfew. Ishtiaq was also banned from driving for 18 months.

Case 5

Sheffield Crown Court heard on May 23 how Mark Thackray, aged 33, of Cadman Street, in Wath-upon-Dearne, Rotherham, was found by police in a parked car outside Our Lady and St Joseph’s Primary School, on Fitzwilliam Street, in Wath-upon-Dearne, after officers had received a report of suspicious activity.

Dale Harris, defending, said Thackray used to be in the Armed Forces but was medically discharged and he continues to suffer with his health and takes medication and also self-medicates.

Thackray, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to having a bladed article and two knuckle-dusters in a public place after the incident on August 30, 2020.

Judge David Dixon sentenced Thackray to a two-year community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

Pictured is Shane Thomas, aged 40, of Springfield Close, at Armthorpe, Doncaster, who was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court to 18 months of custody after he pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm against a woman, disclosing private sexual photos or her, and harassing her.