A GANG of a dozen men have denied their role in incidents of football hooliganism that erupted before and after Bradford City’s game with Sheffield United earlier this season.
Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday that violence took place in and around two of the city’s pubs on the day of the Yorkshire derby clash, a fixture which traditionally ensures a large police presence.
Prosecutor Malcolm Christie said that following the game, which took place on October 22 last year, there was a fight between rival fans in The Ginger Goose pub on Market Street just after 8pm, in which one man was injured and required treatment at the scene by paramedics.
Mr Christie also said that before the game, at around 12.35pm, there had been a confrontation between two sets of opposing fans in an area outside The Bradford Arms pub on Manningham Lane.
A total of nine men appeared at court to deny assaulting Ryan Lewis with an intent to cause grievous bodily harm and a charge of affray, both linked to the incident in The Ginger Goose.
They were Sean Abbott, 25, of Braine Croft, Bradford, Jordan Brame, 20, of Parkside Terrace, Cullingworth, Joseph Brett, 25, of Howarth Avenue, Swain House, Bradford, Milorad Duric, 46, of Fewston Avenue, Bradford, and Michael Hindle, 23, of Norwood Road, Shipley.
Denying the same two charges were Leo Murphy, 21, of Greenwood Avenue, Bradford, Oliver Penn, 25, of Southfield Lane, Great Horton, Bradford, Joshua Stamper, 25, of Stephen Road, Buttershaw, Bradford, and James Taylor, 24, of Gracey Lane, Buttershaw, Bradford.
Hindle also faces a further charge of affray in connection with the Manningham Lane incident, along with Declan Brame, 21, of Norwood Avenue, Shipley, James Dunn, 27, of Falmouth Avenue, Wapping, Bradford, and Paul Sharp, 24, of Elderwood Gardens, Bradford.
District Judge Michael Fanning told the defendants that the assault charges could only be heard at the Crown Court, and he was satisfied that as the alleged affray offences were linked, all matters should be transferred to the higher court.
The men were bailed to appear at Bradford Crown Court on April 18.
Three youths, aged 17, 15, and 15, who cannot be named for legal reasons, indicated they would plead not guilty to affray in connection with the Manningham Lane incident and will stand trial at Bradford Youth Court on April 26.
A charge of affray against another 15 year-old was withdrawn after he pleaded guilty to a lesser offence, receiving a conditional caution and a three-year football banning order.