Jail for friend who helped double killer try to flee country

A MAN who helped a double murderer escape after he stabbed two teenage girls to death has been jailed for two years and nine months.

Steven Harratt, and below, Kimberley Frank and Samantha Sykes.
Steven Harratt, and below, Kimberley Frank and Samantha Sykes.

Steven Harratt, 57, was handed the sentence yesterday after a jury had found him guilty of assisting Ahmad Otak, who was sentenced to a minimum of 34 years in jail last year for murdering Kimberley Frank, 17, and 18-year-old Samantha Sykes.

Harratt, 57, gave Otak money, clothing, food and a sat nav to help him get to Dover after he took Kimberley’s sister Elisa prisoner and tried to leave the UK following the murders.

Otak, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, forced Miss Frank to travel with him but was arrested when she raised the alarm in Dover.

Samantha Sykes (left), 18, and Kimberley Frank, 17.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC told Harratt: “I sentence you on the basis, as the jury must have found, that you believed that he committed at least one serious offence of violence.

“I am also satisfied from the evidence that I heard that you knew it was particularly serious because you knew at one stage that Elisa Frank had her legs bound and that Ahmad Otak had, on his knee, a knife.”

Elisa Frank told the trial how she watched as Otak stabbed her sister to death in a flat in Wakefield, before spitting on her body. Harratt provided his friend with support after the murderer arrived at his home with Miss Frank and told him he had a problem.

When Harratt asked if he had hurt someone, Otak, believed to be 21 at the time, told him he could not tell him anything but he would find out in a few days.

The court heard that while Harratt, of Willow Grove, Wakefield, did not know exactly what Otak had done, he must have realised that he had committed a serious offence.

Det Chief Insp Simon Atkinson, who led the enquiry, said: “Clearly the court have concluded that he assisted Ahmad Otak following the murder of Kimberley Frank and Sammy Sykes and in doing so aided him in both escaping from West Yorkshire and evading the police.

“Fortunately, however, we were able to apprehend Otak before he managed to flee the country to make him answer for truly brutal and horrific crimes.

“I know the pain and suffering the families of Kimberley and Sammy have endured has been immense but I hope the conviction of Harratt today will at least bring them some closure now that the legal process has concluded.”