Two men have been jailed today for a total of 35 and a half years for the murder and manslaughter of Tony Steel in Ossett in September last year.

Christopher Donaldson, 45, of Parkfield View, Ossett, was found guilty following a trial at Leeds Crown Court of murder, with his co-defendant Tony Sladek, 39, also of Parkfield View, Ossett, being found guilty of manslaughter.

They were sentenced alongside a third defendant, Lorraine Hargreaves, 52, of Parkfield View, Ossett, in relation to earlier incidents on the same day that were precursors to Tony Steel’s murder.

In addition to murder, Donaldson was also found guilty of charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and causing grievous bodily harm with intent. He was sentenced to 24 years.

Sladek was also found guilty of charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and unlawful wounding alongside being convicted of manslaughter. He was sentenced to 11 and a half years.

Hargreaves was found guilty of common assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and theft. She was sentenced to three years.

Police were called at 8.38pm on Friday, 2 September, 2022, by Yorkshire Ambulance Service to a report that a man had been stabbed. The victim, Tony Steel, 41, was found near Haggs Hill Farm, Ossett, and was pronounced deceased a short time later.

Inquiries confirmed that the victim had been assaulted outside an address on Parkfield View and that there had been two other incidents that day leading up to this assault.

The first incident occurred at the caravan park at Haggs Hill Farm at around 6pm. There was an argument between Hargreaves and Donald Price after she tried to sell him salmon that he did not want.

Hargreaves then returned about 10 minutes later with Donaldson and Sladek. All three assaulted Mr. Price, with him being punched in the face several times, causing cuts and bruises. During this incident, Hargreaves also stole Mr. Price’s bank card.

A couple of hours later, Mr. Price became aware that his bank card had been stolen. He went to Hargreave’s home with two friends, one of which was Tony Steel. A confrontation took place on the doorstep of the property before the trio ran from the scene after realising that Tony had been stabbed. Donaldson and Sladek briefly chased after them, with Donaldson dropping a knife nearby.

Tony suffered stab wounds to his neck, upper chest, and back.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Townley, of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said; “Ultimately, Tony Steel has lost his life trying to help a friend. The willingness of these defendants to resort to violence to get their message across shows they are dangerous individuals who deserve to be behind bars.

“This has been a complex investigation as detectives have worked to understand the events that led up to Tony’s untimely death, including the earlier assaults on one of his friends.

“We hope that the swift justice, in this case, gives Tony’s friends and family some small comfort as they continue to process their loss.”

In a statement following the verdict, Mr. Steel’s wife Rachel Knight said: “There are no words to describe the impact losing Tony has had on us all as a family. Tony was a hard-working family man, who enjoyed life; and on the night of his tragic death, he was doing what he always did, being there for the people he loved and cared about. Unfortunately, this cost him his life. Tony was loved by so many people, and this will continue in his absence.

“We as a family would like this to be a warning to everyone in the hope that no other families suffer in the way we have. Knives cost lives.”