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Ripon man, 23, held knife and threatened to kill a baby during 'hostage' stand-off

Jordan Michael Lee.
Jordan Michael Lee.

A knife-wielding man held his ex-partner and her friends “hostage” during a stand-off in which he picked up a baby and threatened to kill the child.

Jordan Lee, 23, from Ripon, was furious that his partner had played pool with a group of others earlier in the evening and flew into a drink-fuelled rage during which he picked up a large chef’s knife and threatened to stab her and a male friend, York Crown Court heard.

During the 15-minute stand-off at a house in Ripon, Lee called police and told them he was holding people hostage at the property.

He then threatened to burn down the house of his ex-partner’s friend.

The court heard that the victims were “petrified” as Lee brandished the knife and threatened to stab them.

The woman and her friend were eventually pushed out of the house as Lee, still wielding the weapon, held the baby in his arms and went upstairs.

Terrified of what he might do to the child, Lee’s ex-partner frantically called her brother who drove round to the property.

They managed to get back in by climbing through a window, whereupon the victim’s brother punched Lee to the floor.

When Lee came to, bleeding from the face, he threatened to burn the brother’s car.

Prosecuting barrister, Andrew Dallas, added that upon his arrest, Lee made dire threats to a police officer.

Lee, of The Shepherdies, North Stainley, was charged with affray, assault and threatening behaviour.

He admitted the offences and appeared for sentence via video link on Wednesday after spending eight weeks on remand since the incident on February 28.

Mr Dallas said Lee and his ex-partner had split up six months earlier following a five-year relationship, but went out for a drink together with some friends in Ripon town centre on the night in question.

They were in a pub in the Market Place when Lee suddenly flew into a rage after spotting his ex-partner playing pool with others. He started insulting her and others in “distressing terms”.

The pub landlord threw Lee out, but the violence continued out in the street where the father-of- two “towered over” his ex-partner and bit her on the hand while calling her vile names.

The group of friends ended up at a property in Ripon where another man tried to calm Lee down before he armed himself with a chef’s knife.

The court heard that Lee had gone off the rails in his youth and was convicted of manslaughter in 2009 along with two other teenagers following the death of an elderly woman in Harrogate.

Lee, then 14 years of age, was given two years’ detention in a young-offenders’ institution for causing the death of 93-year- old Yuen Har Ho in a house fire after a bin had been set alight with fireworks and pushed up against the door of her ground-floor flat in Jennyfields.

She died in hospital weeks after the incident in November 2008.

Lee had since racked up 14 criminal convictions mainly for violence, drink-related public disorder and threatening behaviour.

Defence barrister Peter Minnikin said Lee had been badly affected by his manslaughter conviction and was “genuinely ashamed” about his shocking behaviour in Ripon.

“What followed from that (manslaughter conviction) was a… deterioration in Mr Lee’s mental health after his release (from custody),” added Mr Minnikin.

He said Lee’s offending had been caused by alcohol and drug abuse which had led to several suicide attempts. He was at one stage sectioned in a mental-health unit.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC said Lee had “effectively” held his “petrified” victims hostage.

He told Lee: “You threatened to kill the baby at one point. I find that the threat of violence to a babe-in-arms and to (the other victims) is so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate.”

Lee was jailed for 20 months and handed a 10-year restraining order which bans him from contacting or approaching his ex-partner.

Mr Stubbs said the female victim’s brother would receive a £250 reward from public funds for his bravery in confronting the knife-wielding defendant.