Teen guilty of horrific knife attack where one of his victims 'died' in the back of an ambulance

A 19-year-old man has been found guilty of wounding two friends in an horrific knife attack at a flat in Queensbury last summer.

Friday, 20th August 2021, 12:04 pm

One of Leon Dowbenko’s victims died on the way to hospital and only survived after an emergency operation in the back of an ambulance.

Dowbenko, of Fairfax Road, Bradford, was cleared of three attempted murder allegations over the attack, but the jury at Bradford Crown Court rejected a defence of insanity at the end of a four-day trial during which they heard expert psychiatric evidence about his mental state.

Late yesterday (Thursday) after more than five hours of deliberation the jury found Dowbenko guilty of two charges of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm in relation to the attacks on aspiring actor Taylor Wells, 23, and his 20-year-old friend Jake Oldfield.

The scene in Queensbury

Dowbenko was also convicted of attempted wounding with intent in respect of their friend 21-year-old Olivia Pentelow.

A few weeks after the attack Mr Wells told the Halifax Courier how Jake had suffered a serious cut to his face and Olivia had been seriously bruised.

“I was stabbed in the outer casing of my heart and my lung was punctured,” he said.

“During the incident the front door, which was the only way out of the flat, was locked.

“At the time I didn’t know I was seriously injured so I ran upstairs and jumped out of the skylight to get help.

“I went to a shop below and told staff members what happened and fainted.”

He said he was operated on in the ambulance by a paramedic who was trained in open heart surgery.

“When I came to I was told that I had died. It’s surreal and I feel very lucky to be alive,” he said.

After the jury returned their guilty verdicts yesterday Judge Jonathan Rose explained that Dowbenko, who is currently detained in a hospital unit, could face a life sentence or extended sentence, a hospital order or a hybrid of the two types of custodial sentence.

“All of those options are on the table,” said the judge who remanded Dowbenko back into custody until his sentence hearing on November 22.

The judge ordered a psychiatric assessment of Dowbenko and said he also wanted victim impact statements.

“It is very important I understand, particularly in the case of Mr Wells and Mr Oldfield, the ongoing consequences of this attack,” said the judge.

Judge Rose thanked the jury for their work on a complex and difficult case and said he needed the reports to make the right decision for the defendant, the victims of his crimes and the public.

“Mr Dowbenko the jury have found you guilty of three exceptionally serious offences. Offences for which a life sentence of imprisonment could be imposed,” said the judge.

“It is likely you are going to detained for a very long period of time.”