A violent carjacker who sparked a manhunt after he skipped bail during his trial has only had an extra 10 days added to his lengthy sentence.
Waqas Hussain went on the run during his trial at Bradford Crown Court in July and the Examiner reported how he was eventually tracked down and arrested at an address in Heckmondwike just over a week after he had been sentenced to 12 years in his absence.
After hearing the prosecutor’s closing speech to the jury the 20-year-old, who was only on bail because of a “technicality”, left court during a mid-morning break and never came back.
The trial continued in his absence and the jury convicted Hussain on five counts of robbery and possession of a firearm.
The court heard how victims in the attacks were innocent motorists - including a mother and baby - who were threatened with weapons before their cars were stolen.
One complainant, a man in his 40s, was dragged from his VW Polo and Tasered by his attackers during a terrifying carjacking in Wilsden, Bradford, last October.
In another attack in Halifax Road, Bradford, a woman with a baby was threatened with a firearm before her VW Polo was taken.
Hussain, of Fearnsides Terrace, Girlington, Bradford, was sentenced to 12 years in a young offender institution, but today (Friday) he was brought from custody to be sentenced for breaching his bail during the trial.
Judge Colin Burn, who presided over the trial, was told that the sentencing guidelines for Bail Act offences were “quite old” and Hussain’s barrister Shufqat Khan submitted that the only person harmed by the offence was his client.
“The jury is only going to draw one conclusion,” suggested Mr Khan.
“The only harm he has really done is to himself”.
Mr Khan argued that Hussain was still a very young man serving a lengthy custodial sentence and the new sentence could be a concurrent one.
Judge Burn said the sentence would have to be consecutive because going absent during a trial for such serious matters could potentially have caused difficulties.
He suggested that maybe the temptation was too great for Hussain after he heard the prosecutor’s closing address, but he said it would be “oppressive” to massively increase the sentence he was currently serving.
A 15-year-old boy, who was also convicted of involvement, was locked up for six-and-a-half years.