Drunken gunman ran amok in city centre

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A drunken gunman asked one of his victims if they wanted to die before holding up a man and his niece in the city centre.

Lukas Kanapinskas had only arrived in the country weeks before he carried out the terrifying attacks.

Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday it was only later discovered that the gun used by the Lithuanian was an imitation.

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said events began around 8.10pm on October 27 when the first victim was walking along a street by herself and Kanapinskas suddenly appeared beside her.

He then stepped directly in front of her blocking her path. He was holding a gun which he pointed at her chest and at the same time grabbed her hands as she held on to her handbag.

He said: “Do you want to die? If you don’t want to die give me your money.”

She told him she did not have any money and when he repeated his threat “with some bravery she freed herself from his grip.”

Her attacker staggered back and she realised he was very drunk and quickly escaped as he carried on shouting threats at her.

She went into the nearby Sainsbury’s and they could see she was upset and shaken.

The police were informed but around 15 minutes later Kanapinskas was walking in the opposite direction to his next victims, a man with his niece. They had been to the cinema when Kanapinskas bumped into the man.

Kanapinskas looked angry and said: “Do you have a problem?”

He then began following them and asked for a cigarette.

When the man said he did not smoke Kanapinskas demanded cash instead saying “money £5” and put him in a headlock producing the gun which he held to his stomach.

His niece said she was shocked and believed the gun was genuine and handed over £10.

Kanapinskas then let go of her uncle and walked off saying: “No police, no police.”

He was arrested a short time later but became violent and headbutted the police vehicle. He admitted trying to rob people and said: “I did it for my girlfriend.”

Simon Hustler, representing Kanapinskas, said: “He understands the complainants would have been terrified, he fully accepts the unpleasantness of the situation.”

Kanapinskas, 22 of no fixed address, admitted robbery, two charges of attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm and was jailed for four years eight months.

Judge James Spencer QC said: “You came to this country from your own country Lithuania just two weeks before this offence. You drank so much you became extremely drunk and it was that drunkenness I conclude that let you to commit these offences.

“What it does not explain however is why you were in possession of that imitation firearm nor why you used it to try to rob or rob the unfortunate people who you came across.”