Daniel Geddes had given the woman amounts of £20 at a time to buy crack cocaine, but after he charged extortionate “loan shark” rates of interest that debt had increased to between £1500 and £2400.
Bradford Crown Court heard that in the days leading up to the attack the 45-year-old drug user had become increasingly desperate to get the money and the Recorder of Bradford Judge Richard Mansell QC said Geddes was behaving like “paranoid psychotic crack addict”.
In a menacing text message Geddes threatened she would “lose an eye” when he became convinced the woman was trying to get out of repaying the debt.
In the violent attack in a ginnel in March Geddes jumped with full force on his slightly-built victim twice as she lay helpless on the ground and produced a butcher’s meat cleaver which he held above his head.
Geddes ordered the woman to show him her neck in what the judge said was a clear threat to cut her head off and he then grabbed her leg as if to chop off her ankle as she writhed on the ground to defend herself.
Another man with Geddes told him to stop and they fled the scene, but the injured victim was so scared of reporting the incident she spent two days in agony at home struggling to breathe.
When she eventually went to hospital she was found to have suffered a displaced rib fracture which had punctured her lung and fluid was filling the cavity.
Judge Mansell QC said it had been a life-threatening injury which could have killed the woman if she had not gone to hospital when she did.
On Wednesday (Sep 1) Geddes, who had refused to come to court from prison, was found guilty by a jury of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and Judge Mansell QC jailed him in his absence for 10 years.
“On the day of the offence, and for days beforehand, you had become increasingly desperate about getting her to repay this debt you had extortionately created by your loan shark-style interest rates which you knew she had not chance of repaying,” said the judge.
“You had effectively trapped her in cycle of debt from which she had no chance of escaping.”
The judge said Geddes, of Rosemary Close, Rastrick, Brighouse, had seen the woman as a “meal ticket” after losing his job at a timber yard.
“You have tried to wriggle out of what you did that day. Like so many cowardly men who use extreme violence against vulnerable women, you could not find the courage to stand in that dock and challenge any of the three witnesses, but instead returned to prison describing the trial as a pantomime when it had become difficult for you because you would not cooperate with your excellent legal team,” said the judge.
At the time of the attack Geddes was still on prison licence after being jailed for four years for a serious house burglary in Huddersfield.
Judge Mansell said Geddes had started using Class A drugs again and had become desperate, manipulative, out of control and violent.
The judge imposed an indefinite restraining order which bans Geddes from contacting his victim or the witnesses in the case who he said had had the courage to come forward and bring the defendant to justice.