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Last Updated: Friday, 13 June, 2003, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
Riot 'sparked' by gang's violence
Oldham in the aftermath of the riots in 2001
The riots continued for several days in 2001
Ten people who were involved in violence that sparked the Oldham riots have been jailed.

The group - armed with an iron bar and sticks - took to the streets in the Glodwick area of the town, which was later at the centre of furious clashes in 2001.

Nine men and one woman were each jailed for nine months, and two youths were given lesser sentences, at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court on Friday.

Judge Jonathan Geake said none of the defendants was responsible for the rioting, but "it only required a spark to ignite the fire of the troubles which ensued".

During the trial, the jury was directed to clear the defendants of the charge of riot, before all 12 pleaded guilty to either affray or common assault.

A childish argument sparked a chain of events that led to three days of rioting
Detective Chief Inspector Martin Bottomley
In sentencing, Judge Geake said: "The incident itself was set against an unfortunate background of simmering unrest in the Oldham area at that time."

The court heard a spat between four boys on 26 May provoked the nine men - led by Darren Hoy, who believed his sister Sharon's house was under attack - to go to Glodwick to attack members of the Asian community.

They then ran through the area, threatening Asian families - including one heavily pregnant woman - kicking cars and throwing bricks through windows.

In response, Asian youths came onto the streets to confront them and the violence escalated, before the group was outnumbered and removed by police for their protection.

'Indirectly responsible'

Following sentencing Detective Chief Inspector Martin Bottomley, said: "A childish argument sparked a chain of events that led to three days of rioting in the town.

"Each of these 12 people was very much involved in instigating the initial disorder and are indirectly responsible for the events that ensued."

The defendants, who were jailed, were:

  • Darren Hoy, 27, of Rosary Close, Fitton Hill, Oldham
  • Sharon Hoy, 38, of Raper Street, Oldham
  • James Clift, 24, of Westfield Street, Chadderton, Greater Manchester
  • Mark Priestley, 32, of High Street West, Glossop, Derbyshire
  • Alan Daley, 38, of Old Road, Failsworth, Greater Manchester
  • Matthew Berry, 25, of Pine Tree Road, Limeside, Oldham
  • David Bourne, 35, of First Avenue, Limeside, Oldham
  • Steven Rhodes, 30, of Medway Road, Oldham
  • Paul Brockway, 39, of Broadmoss Drive, Blackley, Greater Manchester
  • Stephen Walsh, 22, of Clive Road, Failsworth

    A 16-year-old boy from Oldham was given a 12-month supervision order after pleading guilty to affray.

    A 17-year-old girl, also from the town, was granted a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to common assault.

    Arson shop boss blamed riots
    12 Jun 03  |  Manchester
    Oldham's youth seek way forward
    20 May 03  |  Manchester
    Minor row 'sparked riot'
    03 Apr 03  |  England

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