Man given extended sentence for blackmail and attack - Leighton Buzzard

10/12/2015

A violent young blackmailer from Dunstable has been given an extended 12 year prison sentence today, Thursday, 10 December 2015, after a court heard how he beat up a teenager outside the Swan Hotel in Leighton Buzzard.

Michael Bektas set about the 17-year-old with such ferocity that he caused a fracture to his skull, eye socket and cheekbone. He aimed kicks and punches at his victim, who was defenceless on the ground and unable to protect himself. But Bektas paid the price for his cowardly brutality when he was given an extended prison sentence of 12 years for the protection of the public.

Bektas, aged 21, of Safron Court, High Street North, Dunstable, appeared at St Albans Crown Court to be sentenced along with 19-year-old Kristian Jelenczyk from Draper Way, Leighton Buzzard.

The pair had been found guilty in September of this year of a charge of blackmail after the court heard how, in March of this year, they drove a vulnerable young man who was living in a Berkhamsted hostel onto the nearby Ashridge Nature Reserve. In a secluded spot he was was subjected to threats and eventually withdrew £100 from his account, which he handed to the pair.

But the most serious offence was committed by Bektas alone in October 2014 when he beat up the 17-year-old in the car park outside the Swan Hotel in Leighton Buzzard.

Judge Stephen Warner was told how the teenager was staying at the hotel with work colleagues in October of last year when they visited a couple of bars in the town. The court was told Bektas latched onto the group and followed them when they returned to the hotel.

The victim had been standing outside the hotel when Bektas came up to him and attacked him, knocking the teenager to the ground and delivering punches and kicks to his head and body. The attack was captured on CCTV and Bektas was clearly identified. Following his arrest for that offence, he was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent, which he pleaded guilty to.

The court was told Jelenczyk was a man of previous good character. Judge Warner sentenced him to two years and three months in a young offenders institution.

But Baktas had previous convictions for wounding and a drug offence. The judge told him he posed a threat to the public and an extended prison sentence was necessary. He was given an extended prison sentence of 12 years in which the custody element runs to nine-and-a-half years and the period of licence he will be subject to once released, will be two-and-half-years.

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