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Thursday, 7 March, 2002, 16:27 GMT
Judge jails 25 rioters
Burnt-out car
Cars were stolen and set alight
Twenty-five men have been jailed for their part in a riot in Leeds.

Each of the defendants was caught on video cameras either hurling missiles at police or causing "wanton destruction" to vehicles and property in the Harehills area last summer.

All 25, aged between 15 and 32, had pleaded guilty to charges of violent disorder, with 13 of them admitting additional charges of arson.

Sentencing them at Leeds Crown Court on Thursday, Judge Norman Jones QC, the recorder of Leeds, said: "This was not a riot stimulated by political or social grievance.

"This was violence for the sake of violence."

It's a miracle that none of them [police] were more seriously injured or even killed

Judge Norman Jones QC, recorder of Leeds

Trouble flared at about 2000 GMT on 5 June when a large group of youths, predominately Asian, gathered in the Banstead Park area of Harehills Road.

People from other ethnic minorities including whites and African-Caribbeans later joined the crowds, bringing the estimated total number of people involved to 300.

Mr Jones said: "Twenty-three police officers suffered injury.

"It's a miracle that none of them were more seriously injured or even killed."

Rioters pelted police with bricks and petrol bombs

Earlier, a "scene setting" compilation video showing mobs attacking officers in riot gear and setting cars on fire was played to the packed courtroom.

Jonathan Devlin, prosecuting, told the court how the disturbances caused damage estimated at 500,000.

Mr Devlin said: "Stones, bricks, petrol bombs and other items were thrown at police vehicles attending the scene and a total of 18 police vehicles were damaged."

Shops and a launderette in the area were also targeted by gangs of youths who smashed shop windows and stole cash from the tills, the court was told.

Guilty pleas

Local residents were attacked and more than 250 West Yorkshire police officers fought "running battles" with the youths for more than four hours.

Eelevn defendants, all from Leeds, pleaded guilty to charges of violent disorder: Irfan Atlaf, 18, of Scothall Road; Asghar Ali Dad, 22, of Easterly Grove; Iftikhar Suliman, 18, of Dorset Avenue; Faisal Hussain, 19, of Cardigan Road; Waseen Yaqoob, 20, of Stanley Terrace; Vincent Heaney, 31, of Ashton Avenue; Javed Hussain, 18, of Hovingham Terrace; Abid Khan, 29, of Gledhow Park Avenue; Razwan Iqbal, 21, of Copgrove Road; Errol Freeman, 20, of Stonegate Lane; Safdar Hanif, 21, of Sandhurst Grove.

Shazad Hussain, 22, of Sandhurst Grove, Harehills also pleaded gulity to violent disorder.

Two youths aged 15 and 17, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also admitted additional charges of arson.

Gohir Hussain, 32, of Beckhill Approach, Meanwood, admitted violent disorder, as did the remaining 10 defendants, all from Leeds.

They were: Haroon Hussain, 18, of Sandhurst Grove; Humraz Pinnu, of Savile Place; Shazad Hussain, 21, of Blackman Lane; Naveed Hussain, 18, of Lunan Place; Arshad Majid, 20, of Sandhurst Place; Kamran Rashid, 18, of Copgrove Road; Nahim Majid, 20, of Howden Gardens; Nadeem Qurban, 21, and his brother Naime Qurban, 19, both of Upland Road; and Sajid Asghar, 25, of St Wilfrid's Grove.

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