A man who held a knife to a woman’s throat in an attempted robbery inside her home was on bail at the time for threatening people in the street with a meat cleaver.
Dean Edwards, 36, and his sidekick Amy Lowis, 21, subjected the victim to a terrifying ordeal at her home in York and are now serving a combined jail sentence of nearly 13 years.
Prosecutor Brooke Morrison told York Crown Court that the victim had reluctantly allowed Lowis and another named man to stay overnight on April 13. A day or two later, Edwards chipped up, whereupon the victim asked all three of them to leave.
Ms Morrison said the unwanted guests did leave, but Edwards and Lowis returned five minutes later on the pretext that Lowis – said to be the victim’s ‘friend’ – had left her bag at the property.
The victim let them in, only for the despicable pair to demand that she transfer money to their accounts.
When the victim refused, Edwards put her in a headlock and held a kitchen knife to her throat. As Edwards held her at knifepoint, Lowis searched her home and found a bank statement. She then phoned the bank and pretended to be the victim.
However, Lowis failed to answer the bank’s security questions and handed the phone to Edwards who went into the bedroom with the phone, popping out of the room “now and again”, pointing the knife at the petrified victim, slapping her in the face and telling her: “It does not have to be like this.”
He warned the victim that if she didn’t hand over her bank details she would get “seriously hurt”.
“He tried to put (the victim) on the phone to the bank,” added Ms Morrison.
As the victim shouted for help, Lowis pinned her down and got on top of her, muffling her cries for help by putting her hands over her mouth.
She could hardly breathe and begged Lowis to let her go, at which point the other named man returned to the property and told Edwards and Lowis to stop what they were doing.
Edwards and Lowis, both drug users, finally left the property and the distraught victim rang her friend who called police.
“(The victim) realised after all three (individuals) left that her bank card was missing from her purse, as was her mobile (phone),” said Ms Morrison.
Edwards and Lowis were arrested and charged with attempted robbery. They ultimately admitted the offence despite their initial denials.
Ms Morrison said that Edwards was on bail at the time following another disturbing incident, again involving knives, in July last year.
It occurred in Lucas Avenue, York, following a road accident. Neighbours heard a crash and a commotion outside and saw two men and a woman arguing with each other in the street.
The neighbours heard someone, thought to be Edwards, shout “What have you done to my car?” and “I’m going to get you”.
An enraged Edwards briefly left the scene and went into his parents’ house in Lucas Avenue where he grabbed three knives and a meat cleaver from the kitchen knife block.
He then went back out into the street where neighbours saw him carrying two blades including the meat cleaver, but the two other people involved in the accident had left the scene.
“However, the defendant continued to pace up and down the street, acting aggressively,” added Ms Morrison.
Edwards was shouting “I’m going to get you” as he waved the knives around. When police arrived he was still acting aggressively and shouting at another woman as he was arrested.
He was charged with affray and carrying a knife and ultimately admitted the offences.
Edwards, from York but currently residing at Hull Prison where he had been remanded, appeared for sentence today alongside Lowis.
Ms Morrison said the “vulnerable” robbery victim was left traumatised following the “prolonged” incident at her home.
Edwards had 69 previous offences on his record including “many” alcohol-fuelled incidents such as damaging property and being drunk and disorderly.
He had six previous convictions for carrying a blade or offensive weapon and a similar number of convictions for battery. His rap sheet also included shoplifting, taking a vehicle without consent and a previous conviction for affray just five months before the incident in Lucas Avenue.
Lowis, of Arran Place, York, had 21 previous offences on her record including battery, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and shoplifting.
Barrister Andrew Petterson, for Edwards, said his client’s only mitigation for the shocking offences were his guilty pleas.
Laura Addy, for Lowis, said her client and the victim became friends through being in the same drug circles.
She said Lowis was a “child-like individual” with mental-health problems.
Judge Simon Hickey said Edwards’s brandishing of “frightening” knives in the street and the horrific attack on the robbery victim could only be met with a long prison sentence for both he and Lowis.
Edwards was jailed for eight years and one month and Lowis was imprisoned for four years and eight months.