Hull cash point axe robber bailed to attack for second time
A CRIMINAL who was allowed to walk free from court on bail after being charged with an axe-point robbery went on to commit a shocking assault.
He was then amazingly released on bail again and went on the run.
Lewis Patterson, 22, was granted bail with Christopher Matthews, 30, at Hull Magistrates' Court after both were charged with robbery.
They later appeared before the region's most senior judge, Michael Mettyear, at Hull Crown Court.
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Judge Mettyear criticised the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for allowing the men to be bailed at the earlier hearing for such a serious offence. But because they had not broken the conditions of their bail, he said he was forced to release them again.
Patterson then went on to assault a man outside a city bar. The attack was so serious the victim needed hospital treatment.
Patterson was arrested and charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He pleaded guilty to the offence at Hull Magistrates' Court – only to be given bail again ahead of a sentencing hearing.
He failed to appear at crown court for sentencing and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Patterson, of Weymouth Close, Bransholme, was caught four days later and brought back to court, where he has now pleaded guilty to the robbery.
Matthews, of Terry Street, west Hull, and a third defendant, Louis Coult, 23, of Ladyside Close, Bransholme, have also pleaded guilty to the robbery on September 20, when they threatened a teenager with double-edged axe, marched him to a cash point and stole £180 in cash from him.
Patterson committed the next attack on January 29, when he punched a man outside the Moderation Bar in Hull city centre.
His victim had to be taken to hospital by ambulance and received three butterfly stitches to his eyebrow, suffered three cuts to his cheekbone and had swelling and bruising to his body.
Catherine Ainsworth, District Crown Prosecutor with CPS Yorkshire and Humberside, said the service had opposed bail following the second offence but was overruled by the magistrates.
She said: "Humberside Police sought charging advice in relation to this case.
"We advised them to charge Lewis Patterson with an offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
"We supported the police decision to remand him in custody.
"We did not believe conditions which could be put on his bail would prevent re-offending and so we fully opposed bail. The magistrates, however, granted bail as it is ultimately their decision to make."
Judge Mettyear demanded an investigation after Patterson and Matthews were first released on bail last year.
He told the police and CPS: "The magistrates will have been told to leave them on bail because no further offences have been committed and it is wrong.
"The prosecution should be saying to the magistrates it is wrong and making submissions.
"The CPS should be reinvestigating the question of bail and, had they done that in this case, bail would not have been granted.
"These two should never have been on bail. I want some feedback on this. I want to know something has been done."
Judge Mettyear told the CPS they should have appealed the bail decision.
He said: "They should have told the magistrates what their duties are. The magistrates are being misled.
"It is no criticism of the defence, it is a culture. I thought I had put a stop to this a few years ago. It is wrong.
"It is not only the magistrates, it is the remand at the police station. The sergeant who goes over all the evidence there should be reassessing it and not just granting bail.
"The police, CPS and magistrates need to be saying we have a responsibility of re-looking at this, then they have a further duty of appealing."
A spokesman for Humberside Police said officers have been in contact with the judge.
Miss Ainsworth has conducted an internal investigation at the CPS.
She previously told the Mail: "We are working closely with Humberside Police in light of the comments.
"We understand the public must be assured we will oppose bail for defendants where appropriate and we are aware of the risks that some defendants can pose to victims and the public.
"We take issues such as this with the utmost seriousness and we are investigating why the bail decision was not questioned when the case came before the magistrates.
"We will be providing a full report to Judge Mettyear as soon as possible."
Recorder Eric Elliott QC has now remanded Patterson, Matthews and Coult into custody.
They will now be sentenced next month.