Teenage Rastrick killers get 20 years - victim accused of sex attack charges

A TEENAGE couple jailed for killing a grandfather claimed it was a revenge attack for alleged sexual abuse.

A TEENAGE couple jailed for killing a grandfather claimed it was a revenge attack for alleged sexual abuse.

Reece Gledhill, 18, and Clare Hardy, 19, were yesterday jailed for 12 years and eight years respectively for the killing of John Greer on September 4, 2009.

Reece Gledhill
Reece Gledhill
Clare Hardy
Clare Hardy

Mr Greer, 60, of Arncliffe Crescent, Rastrick, was found dead at his flat the following day.

The father-of-five, who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness, had been strangled and had his throat cut.

John Greer
John Greer

On Monday, Gledhill, of no fixed abode, admitted murdering Mr Greer, while Hardy, of Close Lea Way, Rastrick, admitted manslaughter due to provocation.

The Examiner can now reveal that Mr Greer was due to appear at an unrelated trial at Winchester Crown Court in January, charged with six counts of sexual assault between 2001 and 2003.

Leeds Crown Court heard Mr Greer was alleged to have sexually abused Hardy on several occasions when she was about 11-years-old.

Prosecuting Brian Cox QC told the court the pair had heard Mr Greer had terminal lung disease and had been given six months to live.

Hardy had wanted to confront Mr Greer and have him admit he had sexually assaulted her.

The couple, who had been girlfriend and boyfriend for one year, had been chatting over the internet on September 4.

Gledhill has said he was prepared to kill Mr Greer, who had severe breathing difficulties and trouble walking short distances, Mr Cox said.

After a drinking session Hardy tricked her way into Mr Greer’s flat, asking to use his phone.

Mr Cox said: “Once in she attacked him. He was too sick to resist.”

After the killing the pair stole a TV and hi-fi and sold it to a takeaway in Brighouse.

Mitigating counsel Simon Bourne-Arton QC said Hardy had reported the alleged assault to her mother, a friend of Mr Greer.

Mr Bourne-Arton said: “But what was to follow was a constant rubbing against the sore.

“Mr Greer was to deny the allegation and that was a position accepted by her parents.”

He said Hardy was ‘devastated’ by her mother’s position and her conduct changed dramatically following the alleged abuse.

Defending Gledhill, counsel Maura McGowan QC said her client had been ‘besotted’ with Hardy.

Ms McGowan said he had attacked Mr Greer after seeing the deceased put his hands around his girlfriend.

But sentencing the pair, William Blair QC said: “The deceased was particularly vulnerable because of his disability. He could not possibly have put up any meaningful resistance.

“Whatever happened in the past, there was not the slightest excuse for going into John Greer’s house and taking the law into your own hands with disastrous results.”

Following the hearing Det Supt Dave Pervin, of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “This was a case where two teenagers fuelled with alcohol killed 60-year-old John Greer – a man who was unwell, suffering a terminal illness and unable to defend himself.

“Having killed him, Gledhill and Hardy then stole John Greer’s property, which they were selling a matter of hours later.

“The skills of the forensic scientist, Gillian Leake, linked the two defendants to the murder through victim DNA on their clothing.

“More significantly, this is a case which was detected through information provided by the community and the individual witnesses who had the courage to approach local Neighbourhood Policing Team officers and tell them what they knew about Gledhill and Hardy’s involvement.”

 

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