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Violent street fight forced passers-by to flee and hide in city centre pub
7:00am Tuesday 4th September 2012 in Bradford
Innocent members of the public, including mothers with babies in prams, were forced to flee after a gang of football hooligans clashed with Asian youths in Bradford city centre, a Court heard.
Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that people took refuge in a pub and the doors were locked to keep out the thugs. Security staff also locked up a shopping centre as the disorder swept through the centre.
Prosecutor Mehrban Nassiri told the court the disturbance happened on August 30 last year before Bradford City’s home game with Sheffield Wednesday and involved a large group of white males from the Underfive’s football hooligan group, who were marching into the city centre.
Trouble began when the windscreen of a Range Rover, with three Asian male occupants, was smashed. There were then violent confrontations in the street between the white youths and Asian youths.
Witnesses said both sides threw glasses and used abusive and racist language.
Mr Nassiri said the incident happened at about 5pm and there were women, children and babies in prams on the streets and people picking up relatives from work. Several people expressed their fear and sought refuge in the Commercial pub.
The scenes were captured on CCTV, which was played to the court. Among the group were Nathan Dresler, 19, of Kingswood Street, Great Horton ; James Coleman, 20, of Greenfield Avenue, Windhill , Shipley ; Daniel Farrar, 19, of Westcombe Court, Wyke ; and Joseph Ewbank, 20, of Heysham Drive, Holme Wood .
All pleaded guilty to affray, except for Ewbank, who admitted disorderly behaviour.
The court heard Farrar told a probation officer he was “proud to be a thug”.
Judge Jonathan Rose told them they were a disgrace to the proud football club of Bradford City. He gave each of them four-year Football Banning Orders.
He said: “While it may be only Farrar who has said he is proud to be a thug, the reality is that detail applies to each of you.
“I have little doubt that each of you was quite happy to be looking for the sort of trouble that was to come. Your violent, thuggish and terrifying behaviour brought fear to those going about their legitimate business.”
He sentenced Farrar, who was already subject to a Football Banning Order and had previous convictions for violence, to a total of eight months youth custody. Ewbank was sentenced to a suspended three-month sentence, with 100 hours unpaid work. Dresler and Coleman were given four-month suspended sentences, with 140 hours unpaid work.
Also before the court was 36-year-old Kadir Hussain, of Peel Square, Manningham , who admitted affray and was given a three-month suspended prison sentence.
He had been shopping for Eid, wearing traditional Asian dress, when he was racially abused and insulted and reacted by randomly throwing punches at members of the white group.