Leeds student assaulted in “sadistic” scissor attack

Thugs jailed after inflicting severe injuries on a student on a railway bridge off Cardigan Road


A student had a pair of scissors impaled through his hand and was held prisoner and robbed by two “sadistic” thugs.

A court heard how one of the drug-fuelled attackers jumped on the scissors to force them through the victim’s hand during the attack.

They also threatened to cut off his ear and stab his feet.

The Leeds University student was subjected to an ordeal lasting more than two hours after he was targeted as he crossed a railway bridge near Cardigan Road.

Attacker Richard Holmes

Attacker – Richard Holmes

The court heard the student had to undergo an operation and received plastic surgery on his hand injury.

His injuries are still severe from the nerve damage. He has been left unable to write and may not be able to continue with his studies.

Adam Mather, 36, and  Richard Holmes, 34, were high on a combination of premium strength lager, heroin, methadone and crack cocaine when they carried out the attack on the evening of October 14 last year.

Mather was given a 15-year sentence and Richard Holmes was jailed for more than eight years after they both pleaded guilty to robbery and wounding with intent at Leeds Crown Court.

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“Sadistic ” – Adam Mather

Richard Clews, prosecuting on Wednesday, described how the student feared he was going to be killed, as one of them smashed a glass bottle before holding it against his throat during the ordeal.

He was ordered to hand over his bank cards and disclose the pin numbers before Mather walked to cash machines while Holmes held him prisoner.

Mather told the student: “We will kill you. We are professionals. We do this a lot.”

The student attempted to use a pair of scissors in self-defence, but was overpowered by the thugs.

The assault took place on a railway bridge close to Cardigan Road

The assault took place on a railway bridge close to Cardigan Road

Holmes then held the student down while Mather stabbed him in the palm with the scissors. 

Mr Clews said: “Mather stamped on the protruding scissors to make sure they went right through the palm and right through and impaled the hand on the ground.”

Mather went back to the cash machine and withdrew £200. The student was then given his bank cards back and ordered to wipe them clean of finger prints before the attackers finally left him. They were arrested later that evening.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said “One cannot begin to imagine the terror that this victim must have felt.”

“There was what can only be described as a sadistic use of violence.”