Life sentence for gunman who shot Leeds policewoman

James Leslie
James Leslie
Have your say

A GUNMAN who blasted a policewoman in the face with a sawn-off shotgun had been jailed for life and told he must serve a minimum of 15 years in prison.

James Leslie, 39, was sentenced yesterday, a year to the day since a jury convicted him of attempting to murder PC Suzanne Hudson.

WPC Suzanne Hudson

WPC Suzanne Hudson

PC Hudson was shot at point-blank range through the door of Leslie’s flat in Headingley when she went to the property with her colleague PC Richard Whiteley in the early hours of December 4, 2013.

After the shooting Leslie got on his bike and rode away from the scene laughing as PC Hudson lay bleeding in the street.

PC Hudson, 33, underwent life-saving surgery after suffering injuries to the arteries in her neck.

The jury also found Leslie guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

He pleaded guilty to an offence of arson committed two days after the shooting when he set fire to his prison cell.

He has also admitted assaulting the prison officer who went to extinguish the blaze.

Leslie has undergone a psychiatric assessment since his conviction and has been in a high security psychiatric hospital.

His barrister Alex Cameron said Leslie had a personality disorder at the time of the shooting and continued to receive treatment for it.

Mr Justice Lindblom told Leslie he continued to pose a serious risk to the public and only a custodial sentence was appropriate.

The judge commended the two police officers, saying: “Their courage and fortitude was, and continues to be, exemplary.”