Football thug, 15, locked up

A TEENAGER from the Selby area has been locked up for his part in “prolonged mob violence” between rival football fans.

The 15-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was part of a group of Leeds United fans who appeared before Leeds Crown Court in relation to the attack.

The incident took place in Leeds on May 19 last year, the date of a televised play-off final between Blackpool and West Ham, when a number of Leeds supporters “fuelled by alcohol and peer group pressure”, confronted Huddersfield Town fans in the city centre, throwing bottles and punches, the court heard.

Later in the day, some members of the Leeds group were involved in disorder at the railway station, and chased two Bradford City fans on to the railway line, causing trains to stop.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC called the incidents “prolonged mob violence”, and said: “Those who participate in extreme violence in a public place to the fear of others must expect immediate custodial sentences.”

The boy was sentenced to an eight month detention training order for violent disorder, affray, and obstructing an engine or carriage using the railway. Four other youths were issued with detention and training orders, and another 15-year-old was given a referral order.

Eight other men, aged between 18 and 20, from Leeds, Bradford, High Wycombe, Reading, Batley and Beeston were also sentenced in connection with the incidents, with sentences ranging from 15 months to 18 months in young offenders’ institutions.

Inspector Mick Jackson, of the British Transport Police, said: “The majority of football fans are a credit to their clubs, and enjoy supporting their team in good spirits, and we will always welcome them on to the rail network.

"However there are a small minority of fans, such as the group that have been sentenced at court today, who attach themselves to football and are intent on causing trouble and disorder.”

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