A ROBBERY victim has praised the bravery of the young woman who came to her aid and scared off her attacker.
Leanne Skidmore confronted the violent offender as he stamped on Danielle Kilroy’s head and tried to force her to let go of her handbag.
Alan Skey, 25, was jailed for six years over the attack near to Leeds city centre. After the case, Danielle, 21, said : “Leanne is my hero.”
Leanne, 24, was awarded £250 from public funds at the hearing at Leeds Crown Court to mark her bravery and public spirited actions.
Student Danielle was making her way home from her part time job at a bar in Leeds city centre when Skey followed her.
He attacked her on Gotts Road as she made her way to her flat at the City Island apartments, off Wellington Road.
Leanne, who was also heading out of the city to her home in Wortley, ran to help when he saw Skey drag Danielle to the floor.
Leanne said: “I began to anticipate that something bad was going to happen from the way he was behaving.
“He had been making feel uncomfortable as I was walking along and I began to prepare for something bad happening.”
The court heard how Leanne took out her keys and prepared to use them as a weapon as Skey began to stamp on Danielle’s head. She added: “I knew I had to make him stop. I went over and shouted really loudly at him. He turned around and threatened to hit me and swore but then ran off.”
Leanne stayed with Danielle until emergency services arrived. She suffered cuts and bruises in the attack but was not seriously injured.
Danielle said: “I just don’t know what would have happened if Leanne had not been there for me.
“We had never but before this happened and I think its amazing that someone I didn’t know would risk there own safety to help me.
“I’m sure we will stay friends after what she has done for me.”
Skey was arrested soon after the incident which took place on the evening of November 25 last year.
He pleaded guilty to attempted robbery. Skey, of Brackenwood Court, Wortley, has previous convictions for robbery and violence.
The court heard he had committed the offence in a desperate bid pay off drug debts.
Marcus Waite, mitigating, said Skey admitted the offence at an early stage and was sorry for what he had done.
He added: “He had run up debts with drug dealers at the time of committing this offence. He was desperate and his family were being threatened and the situation got out of hand.”
Recorder Jonathan Sandiford said: “This was a vulnerable lone female at night and I take into account that your record is an aggravating feature.”
“While that woman was on the ground and defenceless, you stamped on her head. She still would not let go of the bag and you were about to hit her when Miss Skidmore intervened.
“Had she not done so, who knows what would have happened.”
Recorder Sandiford praised Leanne for her bravery and ordered that she should be awarded £250 from public funds.
He said: “All too often these days, people just walk on by.”
Detective Sergeant Chris Craven, of Leeds District Neighbourhood Crime Team, said: “While we always advise people who witness a crime in progress to call the police and not to put themselves at risk, we recognise the courage of the young woman who intervened to help the victim.
“Skey put the victim through a traumatic ordeal and we hope the fact he has been given a significant prison sentence will provide some degree of reassurance to her.
“We will continue to do all we can to proactively target criminals who think they can get away with preying on people in street robberies and bring them to justice.”