Belfast Telegraph

Horrific assault on Lesley McLeod was 'an appalling act of degradation' which has left mental scars

By Ashleigh McDonald

When the horrifying video footage of the incident recorded on a mobile phone belonging to Paula Wilson was shown to the court it caused audible gasps.

Wilson could be heard laughing as she filmed the three men dry-shaving the vulnerable woman's long, dark hair at a flat in Ballymena in May 2013 as she lay partially clothed and helpless.

Judge Donna McColgan described the victim as "comatose" and "extremely vulnerable".

Traumatised victim Lesley McLeod (33) - who has waived her right to anonymity - has now fled Ballymena.

Lesley has no memory of the attack.

She said recently: "What they did to me, you wouldn't do to a dog. They are evil."

The video recorded on Wilson's phone, which lasted around 10 minutes, showed the unconscious victim having her eyebrows shaved before her hair is then dry-shaved by the three men using disposable razors.

At one stage the footage shows three pairs of hands shaving her hair at the same time.

In the video, one of the men was heard joking: "No point on going easy on her, we can't send her away with a poor haircut."

He then asked others: "Will we just shave the whole head... I am a democratic sort of person, if you want to baldy her, baldy her."

An attempt was then made to set part of the woman's hair on fire, with jokes being made by her attackers about setting off the fire alarm.

She was then slapped several times by Balmer, Telford and Hamilton.

During yesterday's sentencing, Judge McColgan said the footage depicted "the most appalling acts of degradation of a young woman".

Ms McLeod said: "I have been left with horrific mental scars and I am still getting medical treatment 18 months on.

"Those four that attacked me are sick in the head. I believe I was spiked with drugs and the attack on me by those scumbags was pre-planned. I have been left with horrific mental scars.

"I had to leave Ballymena afterwards and I'm too scared to go back. Those four will never know or understand the damage they did to me."

Police knew nothing of the humiliating assault until Wilson was arrested by police investigating the attack on 'body-in-the-bin' victim Adam Robinson (21).

He was found naked and bound inside a taped-up wheelie bin. The bin had been hidden in dense undergrowth in the Sentry Hill area of Ballymena and the discovery was made by someone out walking their dog in September 2013.

Paramedics called to the scene to treat him warned that had he been trapped for longer he could have died because his oxygen supply was running out.

The attack on the young man and subsequent attempt to dispose of his body in the wheelie bin stunned Northern Ireland.

Wilson is due to be sentenced later this year along with two Ballymena men for her involvement in that attack.

Teri Lau and James 'Roddy' Patterson, both aged 27, pleaded guilty to assaulting and falsely imprisoning him during a drink and drugs party in the Dunclug estate.

Wilson admitted aiding and abetting false imprisonment.

Charges of attempted murder against all three were left on the books.

When Wilson was arrested for the attack on Mr Robinson, detectives seized her mobile phone and uncovered the shocking head-shaving footage.

As well as the film, there were also multiple images of the victim and the four defendants on Wilson's phone.

Four jailed for attack on unconscious woman 

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