A violent thug used a meat cleaver to threaten victims during a six-week campaign of robbery and burglary to fund a £600-a-week drink and drug habit.
Daniel Grant, 22, was jailed indefinitely yesterday after a court heard he had a hatred of people not like him and he enjoyed carrying weapons because it made him feel “on top of the world”.
Grant committed eight robberies in Leeds between December and January this year, taking £3,000 worth of valuables from victims. Some were assaulted or threatened with a meat cleaver and other weapons.
Leeds Crown Court heard Grant holds openly racist views and is an active member of the English Defence League, a far-right protest group. After his arrest he claimed he carried weapons because other people were “needled-up” and may attack him because of his political views.
Judge Penelope Belcher jailed Grant indefinitely, saying he posed a significant risk of committing serious offences in the future. He must serve a minimum of four years in prison before he can apply to the parole board for release.
Grant, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to robbery, attempted robbery, burglary and possession of a bladed weapon.
He asked for 16 other offences to be taking into consideration, including seven robberies and five burglaries. Some of the offences were committed with the help of an accomplice.
Two of the offences included him targeting victim as they walked to work along a canal tow path near to Gotts Road, Armley. One man, who was told hand over his wallet, feared he would be attacked and left to bleed to death.
After his arrest Grant, who has previous convictions for assault and sex offences, told probation officers and a psychiatrist that he had a fascination with weapons and the power it gave him. He also said he had dreams about “torching” people and inflicting other injuries on them.
Jobless Grant said he committed the offences to fund his addiction to alcohol and cannabis. He was also a regular user of amphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis and anabolic steroids, which fuelled his aggression.
He said he was full of hatred for people who were not like him, including members of his own family. A report stated that he had an “abnormal personality” and had no empathy for his victims.
Judge Belcher said Grant was a risk to the public because he showed no desire to change.
She told: “You have made it clear that the lifestyle that you were leading, involving drugs and significant amounts of alcohol, is a lifestyle you have every intention of leading on your release from custody.”
After the hearing, Det Con Dave McKean, of City and Holbeck CID, said: “Grant put his victims through terrifying ordeals, often at knifepoint, purely to get money. I hope the sentence he has received will serve as some source of comfort to those whose lives have been affected by his actions.”
Yorkshire Evening Post