March 2015

Schoolgirl’s attacker was on parole from nine-year term for hammer attack


A MAN who terrified a 15-year-old York girl by attacking her in the grounds of her own school was on parole from a nine-year sentence for a hammer attack, a court was told yesterday.

James Colby had arrived at Southview probation hostel in Boroughbridge Road, York, only 24 hours before he came up behind the girl and grabbed her from behind on November 18, York Crown Court heard.

In 2010, Colby was jailed at Hull Crown Court for nine years, together with another man, for their hammer attack on a third man in a block of flats.

He had been released from that sentence in mid-2014 and was being supervised by the probation service when he attacked the girl and left her hysterical and crying on a footpath in the grounds of her school.

A jury at York Crown Court yesterday convicted him of causing her actual bodily harm. They heard she had been walking home and listening to music on her headphones after staying late to do some work.

Judge Colin Burn told him: “It wasn’t clear what your motive was.”

Colby called out angrily that he was now serving an extra three years behind bars as a result of being arrested for the assault.

The judge told the jury that Colby’s parole had been revoked and the guilty verdict meant that he would now serve the rest of his nine-year sentence behind bars. He passed a six-month jail sentence for the offence of actual bodily harm.

Colby, 28, of no fixed address, had denied the charge.

The jury saw CCTV footage of him making his way towards the school past a busy junction and a row of shops and heard evidence from a motorist who saw him jump over a fence into a field and another pupil of the school, who saw him walking towards her inside the school grounds.

They also saw CCTV footage from the school of him running past its bike sheds after the attack.

Colby claimed he just wandered around York getting lost that afternoon after street drinking with another hostel resident in the city centre and getting drunk.