Criminals locked up June: From restaurant owner who set up cannabis farm to shocking violence

Rakip Karanxha, left, and Jason Ayrton were among the criminals sentenced in June
-Credit: (Image: Hull Live)

Shocking and vicious offences of violence dominated the cases dealt with at Hull Crown Court during June – and some of the nasty attacks were directed at complete strangers who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

One menacing thug targeted his own sister and ex-girlfriend for a second time despite having previously been jailed for similar violence. A young knife-carrying troublemaker ran amok on a street in the early hours and confronted random strangers.

Sex offenders, drug dealers and dangerous drivers were also sentenced and the most unusual and eye-opening case of the month was that of the Beverley restaurant boss who had a secret cannabis factory.


Add to that a cruel daughter who fleeced her vulnerable father out of tens of thousands of pounds, a prolific burglar and a tearaway teenager who was like a "cat with nine lives" and it has been another depressing catalogue of crime at the court.

These are some of the cases that made headlines in June.

Violent attacks by man on his sister and ex-girlfriend left both women terrified

Vicious thug Damian Driver targeted his terrified ex-girlfriend and his own sister in two nasty violent attacks – with the second aggressive beating coming shortly after he had been released from prison for the first.

Bad-tempered and "narcissistic" Driver left his ex-girlfriend fearing that he would kill her one day. His sister was left shocked and horrified after he broke her wrist in one attack before later repeatedly punching her in another violent outburst.

The sister never imagined "in a million years" that her own brother would attack her "not just once but twice".

Driver, 30, of 8th Avenue, north Hull, admitted assaulting his sister, causing actual bodily harm, as well as breaching a restraining order and causing criminal damage to his ex-girlfriend's BMW car.

He was jailed for four years and he was given an indefinite restraining order.

Drunken knifeman targeted a series of people during frightening spate of confrontations

Drunken young father Ben Thomson armed himself with an eight-inch knife before aggressively threatening and menacing a series of shocked people in the early hours while his "brain was addled with alcohol".

He left the victims, most of them women, terrified when he suddenly approached complete strangers during a bizarre series of nasty and totally random confrontations.

Ben Thomson was jailed for five years -Credit:Hull Live
Ben Thomson was jailed for five years -Credit:Hull Live

He demanded money from one woman at a cash point machine and approached others while they were waiting in cars to buy takeaway food from McDonald's. He committed a "whole swathe of very violent acts" – one after another starting at about 1.30am.

Thomson, 23, of Mersey Street, off Holderness Road, east Hull, admitted two offences of attempted robbery and others of assault with intent to rob, affray and having a knife in public on April 2 last year.

He was jailed for five years.

Restaurant boss was in charge of secret huge cannabis factory very near his own premises

Beverley restaurant owner Rakip Karanxha secretly masterminded a huge cannabis factory at a derelict former Thai restaurant very near to his own premises.

He pretended that he knew nothing about more than 350 cannabis plants, valued at about £395,000, “next door” or the elaborate lighting, fans and filter system that had been set up there. But he was betrayed by a telltale fingerprint found on a light bulb inside the cannabis factory.

Mobile phone records showed that he was in regular contact with a "gardener" living inside the hidden cannabis operation – but Karanxha brazenly claimed that he "didn't even know what cannabis was" and that he knew "nothing".

His downfall came after a keen-nosed detective was driving by and he suddenly noticed the pungent smell of cannabis in the air near Karanxha's restaurant and went to investigate further.

Karanxha, 45, of Butterfly Meadows, Molescroft, Beverley, denied being concerned in producing cannabis on December 15, 2021 but he was convicted after a retrial at Grimsby Crown Court.

He was jailed for five years.

Woman thought she was going to be murdered after knifeman kept her prisoner in hotel room

A terrified woman feared that she was about to be brutally murdered after knife-carrying criminal Christopher Prior, with a long history of violence, knocked on her hotel room door and barged his way inside before keeping her prisoner.

The woman was left fearing for her life and she was traumatised after convicted robber Prior suddenly appeared in front of her when she opened the door. She had been expecting a takeaway delivery to her room at a Hull city centre hotel.

She told the intruder: "Please don't hurt me. I have got children." He was holding a knife but he did not actually use it or harm the woman during her frightening ordeal.

Prior, 39, from Hull, but recently in custody on remand, admitted false imprisonment, burglary and possessing a knife.

He was jailed for three years.

Man knocked unconscious and suffered broken ankle after dispute in pub turns violent

A petty argument inside a pub suddenly turned violent just minutes later when bad-tempered customer Jason Ayrton viciously knocked another man unconscious to the ground before punching him 10 more times to the head.

The victim suffered a broken ankle after falling heavily during the "prolonged and persistent attack" outside the pub and he later suffered a "rollercoaster of emotions" that left him "shattered" and "broken" mentally and physically.

Father-of-seven Jason Ayrton, 50, of Pembroke Terrace, Bridlington, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on the man on November 3, 2022.

He was given a two-year suspended prison sentence, 20 days' rehabilitation and six months' alcohol treatment. He was ordered to pay £1,000 compensation.

Girlfriend hit man with a wrench after fearing that he was being unfaithful to her

Jealous girlfriend Bethany Gee viciously lashed out at her boyfriend after he unexpectedly received a telephone call from a female friend completely out of the blue and she suspected that he might be secretly cheating on her.

Mum-of-three Bethany Gee appeared at Hull Crown Court -Credit:Hull Live
Mum-of-three Bethany Gee appeared at Hull Crown Court -Credit:Hull Live

The mother-of-three angrily accused him of being unfaithful to her and she suddenly hit him on the head with a six-inch wrench during a violent struggle, causing a nasty head injury, after she grabbed his phone and smashed it.

Gee, 35, of Princess Street, Bridlington, admitted an offence of wounding the man on October 2.

She was given 20 days' rehabilitation.

Woman was headbutted and kicked by businessman after evening out turned to disaster

Businessman Michael Beal viciously headbutted his girlfriend and repeatedly kicked her in the back during an "appalling" drink-fuelled confrontation after a heated argument got out of control.

Father-of-three Beal caused a "nasty" injury during the "very unpleasant" attack on the woman. He had earlier hurled spiteful insults at her after an evening out suddenly went badly wrong.

Beal, 46, of Stanley Jackson Way, Welton, near Brough, admitted assaulting the woman, causing actual bodily harm, on March 18, 2022. He denied intentional strangulation between July 29 and August 1, 2022 and that charge was dropped.

Beal was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence and 15 days' rehabilitation.

Daughter stole more than £74,000 from her vulnerable dad in serious breach of trust

Callous daughter Tamara Whiting fleeced her "highly vulnerable" father of £74,580 after she was trusted to look after his money for him because he had suffered serious brain damage in a road accident.

She regularly plundered the compensation payout that her father was awarded for his injuries and she made a whole host of cash withdrawals as well as buying goods on Amazon and iTunes and paying off credit card bills.

It was a "clear abuse of power" and the heartless fraud against her severely impaired father was carried out over a "sustained period of time" before it was eventually discovered and investigated.

Whiting, 49, of Rokeby Park, west Hull, admitted fraud between January 15 and October 2, 2007 by making cash withdrawals for the benefit of herself while in the position of Receiver. She also admitted fraud between September 30, 2007 and February 21, 2018 by making withdrawals from her father's bank account to the value of £24,000.

She was given a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, and 240 hours' unpaid work.

Man broke a friend's jaw after taking joking remark seriously and lashing out at him

Banter between two good friends suddenly turned violent when Leo Genter unexpectedly punched his mate in the face, breaking his jaw, after a half-hearted challenge from the victim to hit him suddenly turned deadly serious.

He became fed up with his friend moaning about not being able to draw out any money and quickly suggested: "Well, a good punch will sort you out."

The victim made the mistake of telling him "Do it then" but, to his surprise, Genter took it seriously and immediately lashed out with a hard punch.

Genter, 20, of Cottingham Road, Hull, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on his friend on August 24, 2022.

He was sent to a young offenders' institution for two-and-a-half years.

Boyfriend smashed up one woman's car and the belongings of another

Aggressive cannabis user Matthew Sutherland lost his temper with two different girlfriends and left a frightening trail of damage and destruction when he angrily smashed up their belongings during sudden fiery outbursts.

He became enraged while he was in a car with one of the women and she abruptly told him out of the blue that she wanted to end their relationship.

He ripped off fittings in her car, including air conditioning covers, a glove box and a sun shield before later slashing tyres and slicing up two pairs of her designer shoes.

He later subjected another girlfriend to a gratuitous barrage of damage in her home, including to a mirror, a TV and her phone.

Sutherland, 23, of Staines Close, off Holderness Road, east Hull, admitted two offences of criminal damage during separate incidents against two girlfriends.

He was given 15 days' rehabilitation and a probation service Building Better Relationships programme.

Panicking driver led police on high-speed chase through rural roads and city centre streets

Tearaway young driver Liam Slade hurtled along busy roads at "grossly excessive" speeds of up to 120mph during a frightening and "monumentally stupid" 11-minute police chase that started near Beverley and finally ended in Hull city centre.

Other drivers had to take sudden evasive action during the hair-raising high-speed pursuit and it was a "miracle" that nobody was killed or seriously injured during his "wildly dangerous" and potentially "deadly" antics.

Liam Slade hurtled through red traffic lights, overtook vehicles, went around roundabouts the wrong way, mounted footpaths at speed and forced numerous other vehicles to take evasive action
Liam Slade hurtled through red traffic lights, overtook vehicles, went around roundabouts the wrong way, mounted footpaths at speed and forced numerous other vehicles to take evasive action -Credit:Humberside Police

He and his four passengers hurriedly ran off after the BMW car finally stopped. Police found a knife in the driver's door pocket that he used for "protection".

Slade, 20, of Bilsdale Grove, east Hull, admitted dangerous driving, possessing a knife in public and having no insurance on February 28.

He was sent to a young offenders' institution for 14 months and was banned from driving for three years and seven months. He will have to pass an extended retest before he can drive legally again.

Woman twice attacked another female over long-running problems about a previous boyfriend

A long-running feud between two women over a "shared ex-partner" turned violent when Amber Wariner went looking for her rival in a pub before viciously punching her in the face during a nasty confrontation.

The victim later decided to go round to her attacker's home to ask why she had done it but a heated argument on the doorstep descended into a scuffle and she was repeatedly thumped in the face.

Wariner, 32, of Kirklands Road, off Spring Bank West, Hull, admitted assaulting the woman, causing actual bodily harm, and another offence of assaulting her later the same day, on July 30 last year.

She was given a nine-month suspended prison sentence and 15 days' rehabilitation.

Man strangled his girlfriend after believing that she was cheating on him

Jealous and suspicious bully Shane Cochran lost his temper and strangled his girlfriend before later bombarding her with "very unpleasant and abusive" text messages after he suspected that she was secretly seeing another man.

He wanted to "shame and belittle her" in a desperate bid to "wake her up" but his vindictive plan badly backfired because she now did not want anything to do with him ever again.

Cochran, 43, of Holm Garth Drive, off Holderness Road, east Hull, admitted intentional strangulation on August 28 and harassing the woman on September 10.

He was given a 15-month suspended prison sentence, 20 days' rehabilitation and a probation service Building Better Relationships programme. He was given a five-year restraining order.

Teenage troublemaker is like a "cat with nine lives" as he avoids custody again

Tearaway teenager Harrison Hadley clocked up an "appalling" string of 29 offences and has been described as being like a cat with "nine lives" – but he is already on his "12th or 13th" life.

He had repeatedly managed in the past to avoid being locked up and his run of good luck continued when he again narrowly avoided being sent down.

But he was warned that if he did not change his ways, he risked getting "prison sentence after prison sentence after prison sentence" and he would end up "serving a life sentence in instalments".

Hadley, 18, of Kinthorpe, Orchard Park estate, Hull, admitted burglary, attempted burglary and theft.

He was given a 16-month suspended custodial sentence. The requirements of a community order that was made on February 1, for stealing a bicycle, will continue.

Pervert targeted a vulnerable boy for sex abuse and left him suffering flashbacks

Serial sex offender Michael Broxholme left a teenage boy suffering flashbacks and "profound" continuing problems after he brutally held the victim down by his arms and intimately abused him.

The traumatised victim "froze" during his frightening ordeal and he was left crying and panicking. He immediately ran away from the scene of the incident in a bid to escape any further abuse.

Michael Broxholme was jailed for a year -Credit:Hull Live
Michael Broxholme was jailed for a year -Credit:Hull Live

He later "bravely" reported his ordeal to the police and it was clear that what he was forced to ensure had a "profound" effect upon him.

Broxholme, 54, formerly of Hull, and previously known as Michael Greenwood before changing his name, admitted an offence of indecent assault against the boy.

He was jailed for one year and he will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Mum shoved a glass into a man's face in horrific attack outside a pub

Young mother Blaze Jessop viciously "glassed" a man, causing a horrific and "devastating" wound to his face, in a "random and unprovoked" attack outside a pub after midnight.

She had been drinking before she suddenly shoved a glass into the victim's face after a large group of people gathered outside the pub. The glass smashed as it hit the victim and he was left bleeding heavily. He suffered terrible scarring on his face and the attack badly affected him and his family.

Jessop, 21, of Annandale Road, Greatfield estate, Hull, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on the man on April 9 last year.

She was given a 16-month suspended prison sentence, 20 days' rehabilitation and six months' alcohol treatment.

"Utterly idiotic" driver had been drinking when he sped off and was chased by police in the early hours

Panicking drink-driver Andrew Mackenzie hurtled along streets at frightening speeds of up to 90mph after he made the "utterly idiotic" decision to "put his foot on the accelerator" when he suddenly spotted the police just after 12.30am.

He led police on a hair-raising chase, including driving through two sets of red traffic lights, at a "grossly excessive speed" before abruptly stopping his BMW and desperately trying to run off.

It was only by "sheer good fortune" that nobody was seriously hurt or even killed during his "reckless" attempt at "evading the police".

Mackenzie, 33, of Sullivan Road, off Boothferry Road, west Hull, admitted dangerous driving and drink-driving on February 20.

He was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence, 200 hours' unpaid work and 15 days' rehabilitation. He was banned from driving for three years and he must pass an extended retest before he can drive legally again. He was ordered to pay £150 costs.

Drug dealer found with large amount of cash had a knife for protection if needed

Serial drug dealer Michael Wilson used his car to sell heroin and crack cocaine on the streets and had a potentially lethal knife with him – in case he needed to protect himself and to safeguard the drugs and the lucrative amounts of cash that he was making.

He was found with a "significant amount of money" after police searched the car and his home. He had previous convictions for drug dealing and, after being caught again, he was resigned to accepting his "fate" that he would be locked up yet again.

Wilson, 41, of Coronation Road North, off Priory Road, Hull, admitted possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply, possessing an offensive weapon and driving while disqualified at Chester Road, Hull, on May 2.

He was jailed for three years and two months. He remains banned from driving and he will have to pass an extended retest before he can drive legally again.

Woman hit man with a wooden stick during a nasty confrontation near a hospital

Drunken mother Rebecca Grubb picked up a wooden stick that had been dropped during a bad-tempered fight between a group of men near Hull Royal Infirmary and used it to hit one of them on the legs.

The trouble erupted after one of the men involved in the angry disturbance was said to have made "rather inappropriate suggestions" to a group of children.

This sparked outrage from others on the scene and a fight broke out between two men, causing one of them to fall into the busy road near the hospital and the serious risk that he might be hit by passing cars.

Grubb, 40, of Sefton Street, off Hessle Road, west Hull, admitted an offence of affray on June 9 last year.

She was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence, 15 days' rehabilitation and a two-month alcohol abstinence monitoring order.

Burglar with 117 previous convictions pretended to be a gardener before raiding house

Homeless and drugged-up burglar Ahmed Gaddafi carried out brazen raids on houses, including by sneakily ringing the door bell and pretending to offer his services for gardening.

But he was foiled after a no-nonsense occupier ran after him and then hastily followed him in his car and confronted him in the street. A handbag that the intruder had stolen from the house was recovered.

Ahmed Gaddafi was jailed at Hull Crown Court -Credit:Humberside Police
Ahmed Gaddafi was jailed at Hull Crown Court -Credit:Humberside Police

Ahmed Gaddafi, 47, formerly of Coltman Street, Hull, but recently of no fixed address, admitted two offences of burglary and others of attempted burglary and interfering with a vehicle.

He was jailed for two years and nine months.

False claim made by drug dealer that cash found on him was from his benefits or a loan

Drug dealer Khlil Taluqdar was caught selling heroin and crack cocaine on the streets but he later pretended that a stash of £263 cash that was found on him came purely from his benefits money or from cash that he had borrowed from his sister.

He also claimed that the drugs that he was caught with by police were purely for his own use but his far-fetched story was quickly rejected.

Taluqdar, 48, of no fixed address, but from Hull, denied possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply in New Bridge Road, Hull, and possessing cash as criminal property on December 11 but he was convicted by a jury after a trial.

He was jailed for three years and nine months.

Motorcyclist led police in a chase in the early hours before hiding in a bedroom

Reckless and panicking motorcyclist Luke Smith hurtled along streets and across playing fields at high speed after 3am while being pursued by police during a hair-raising and "prolonged, deliberate and dangerous" chase.

He eventually abandoned the bike in a front garden before running inside a house and trying to hide in a bedroom. The motorcycle had been taken without consent and it had false registration plates on it.

Smith, 26, of no fixed address but from Hull, admitted dangerous driving, taking a Honda 125cc motorcycle without consent and having no insurance and driving licence on May 23. He had been found guilty after a trial in his absence before Beverley magistrates of taking a Suzuki motorcycle without consent on May 4.

He was jailed for 15 months and was banned from driving for 19-and-a-half months.

Ex-boyfriend warned woman that she was "dead" in string of abusive messages

Obsessed bully Stephen Allen left his terrified ex-girlfriend fearing that he would kill her after he sent her a barrage of nasty and abusive text messages and voicemails and menacingly warned her: "You're gone."

Heavy drinker Allen told the woman "You're f***ing dead, mate" during a prolonged campaign of harassment against her. Every single offence that he had ever committed had been linked to his serious alcohol problem.

Stephen Allen appeared at Hull Crown Court -Credit:Humberside Police
Stephen Allen appeared at Hull Crown Court -Credit:Humberside Police

Allen, 57, of Main Street, Swanland, admitted harassment, causing fear of violence, between February 14 and March 3. He pleaded guilty on the day of a scheduled trial before Hull magistrates.

He was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence, 25 days' rehabilitation, a probation service Building Better Relationships programme and a six-month monitoring order. He was given an indefinite restraining order.

Drug dealer fell foul of the police on Christmas Day after getting into debt problems

Cocaine user Nathan Cunningham got himself into serious problems through falling into debt and turned in desperation to cannabis dealing as part of a doomed bid to solve his cash worries.

But the money-making scheme badly backfired when he twice fell foul of the police. He even managed to find himself being arrested on Christmas Day when a car was stopped after police suspicions were aroused.

Cunningham, 33, of Princess Street, Bridlington, admitted being concerned in supplying cannabis on Christmas Day and possessing cannabis with intent to supply and possessing cocaine on April 17.

Cunningham, who was already in custody on remand, was jailed for 18 months.

Large stash of indecent images of children found after police analyse phone

Police found a huge haul of 1,853 sickening images of children after searching a mobile phone used by Lilith Kovers because of serious worries that disturbing pictures had been shared online.

The police also found 87 pictures of extreme bestiality involving animals and children on the phone. It was discovered that messages and images had been shared among a group of seedy internet perverts, Hull Crown Court heard.

Kovers, 27, of Axdane, Orchard Park estate, Hull, admitted three offences of making indecent images of children and other offences of distributing one indecent image of a child, possessing a prohibited image of a child and possessing 87 extreme images, involving bestiality.

Kovers was given a 16-month suspended prison sentence and 30 days' rehabilitation. A five-year sexual harm prevention order was made.