‘Merciless’ robbers preyed on couple in their home

Joshua Taylor (left) and Leon Jedynak (right) .
Joshua Taylor (left) and Leon Jedynak (right) .

Two ‘merciless’ violent robbers have been given extended jailed terms totalling 22 years after carrying out a brutal drug-fuelled robbery of a man in front of his wife in their own home.

A court heard how the couple. aged in their 60s, have had to sell their home as they no longer feel safe in the property after being subjected to the ordeal by Leon Jedynak and Joshua Taylor.

The pair targeted the couple’s home on Dewsbury Road, Wakefield, on July 10 this year.

Leeds Crown Court heard Taylor, 19, climbed into the bungalow through an open window as the husband was watching a football match on television.

Louise Pryke, prosecuting, said Taylor began punching the 63-year-old victim in the face before striking him with a “martial arts-style kick”.

The victim’s wife was in the bedroom at the time and shouted at Taylor to leave her husband alone.

The husband then shouted to his wife to go back into the bedroom.

Taylor followed her and began kicking at the bedroom door.

The husband shouted “leave her alone” and Taylor then went back into the room and continued to punch him in the face.

Ms Pryke said the husband fought back and managed to pin Taylor down.

Jadnyak, 23, then smashed a conservatory door to get into the property and threatened the husband with a broken bottle. He told the victim: “Give me your money or you are going to get this.”

The prosecutor said: “(the victim) believed he was going to be struck by the bottle and said ‘I have no money in the house.’”

Taylor then took a laptop before the pair left.

Ms Pryke said the couple had sold their home at a loss because they no longer felt safe and have been living in a hostel since the incident.

She read a victim statement to the court on behalf of the couple in which they stated: “We have been happy and proud of our home and this has been ruined because of the actions of two brutal young men.”

The husband stated: “I cannot forgive them for what they have done to me and my wife. They have ruined my wife’s health.”

After the two men were arrested Taylor told police he had committed the offence after taking a “cocktail” of drugs and that he had told Jednyak that he would have to help him if he got into trouble when carrying out the robbery.

Jednyak has previous convictions for violent robbery and was on the run at the time of the incident.

Five days before the robbery he had pointed a handgun at a bus full of passengers in Wakefield city centre. Taylor also has previous convictions for robbery and violence.

Jednyak, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to robbery, possession of a firearm in a public place and failing to surrender to bail.

Taylor, of Westgate, Wakefield, pleaded guilty to robbery.

Allan Armbrister, for Jednyak, said: “This defendant realises that this is a deeply unpleasant and serious offence.”

James Littlehales, for Taylor, said his client had admitted the offence at the earliest opportunity.”

Jednyak and Taylor were both given 11-year extended jail terms. They must serve an eight year custodial period, followed by an extended licence period of three years.

Judge James Spencer, QC, said: “This was a merciless, prolonged, attack with appalling consequences.”

Detective Inspector Dan Tillett of Wakefield District CID, said: “This was a truly appalling incident in which these two males broke into the victims home and subjected a 63-year-old man present and his wife to a terrifying ordeal.

“The 63-year-old showed great courage in resisting and fighting back following the assault from Taylor and then being threatened with a weapon by Jednyak.

“Their actions were shocking and cowardly in the extreme, and we welcome the lengthy sentences they have been given at court today.

“I hope their convictions are of some comfort to the victims in this case.

“Thankfully offences such as these are very rare in Wakefield District and I hope the sentences should also serve as a warning that such offending will be harshly punished.”