Yorkshire thug's brutal attack on a homeless man was captured on CCTV in 'horror movie'

A sadistic thug has been jailed after his brutal and prolonged attack on a defenceless homeless man in Sheffield was captured in a “horror movie” on CCTV.

Todd Major, aged 29, of Beighton Road, near Woodhouse, Sheffield, targeted the man who was sleeping at Victoria Quays, near Sheffield city centre, where he was stamped on, punched, throttled and lashed with a ligature.

Ian West, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said the homeless man was sleeping rough in an archway with two acquaintances and for no apparent reason he was attacked by the defendant.

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Judge Peter Kelson QC, having viewed CCTV footage of the attack told Major: “It’s a horror movie. It’s dreadful to think that such behaviour goes on in modern society. It is often said that any society is judged by how it treats its weakest members.

Todd Major

“Your victim, together with two others and their dogs, was doing nothing more than trying to keep warm and get some sleep. He was harmless and vulnerable and he was doing the best he could in extremely difficult circumstances.”

He added: “You embarked on a truly sadistic attack. He was asleep under covers in the arches and you have decided he will be your victim and you sadistically returned to harm him.”

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Judge Kelson said Major stamped on the homeless man’s head and body, repeatedly lashed him with a wire with something on the end and punched him to the body before his victim tried to stand but fell in agony.

He described Major as a “vicious bully” after he returned with a ligature which looked like a thin piece of metal and held it aloft.

Judge Kelson added: “There is a vicious punch in his face when he is sitting or kneeling before you. It is the most brutal sadistic violence.”

Mr West added Major was waving his arms and intimidating everyone and he picked up some sort of wire and swung it about.

A witness reported the incident to police, according to Mr West, and the homeless man was found frightened with wounds to his face, jaw and ribs but he declined to make a statement.

Major told police he had gone into town and had lost money and found himself walking about and he began accusing homeless people of stealing his tobacco.

Mr West added Major also tried to take a dog belonging to one of the homeless people.

The defendant, who has 16 previous convictions for 32 offences, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm after the incident on October 8, 2020.

Benn Robinson, defending, said Major is not someone who is habitually violent but his problems began after he was introduced to drugs and he developed associated mental health issues.

Mr Robinson added when the Covid pandemic got underway Major was homeless himself and using illicit substances.

But Mr Robinson said Major has stopped using illicit substances after he was remanded into custody.

Judge Kelson who sentenced Major to three years of custody said the attack had involved “gratuitous degradation” and spitting.

He told Major: “There is evidence of the nature of your attack upon him which is brutal. It’s extreme and involves kicks to the head as well as strangulation and punching and there is visible agony on your victim’s part.”