TWO rival families were behind a series of violent clashes as they sought to settle an ongoing feud, a jury heard.
A court heard one incident in south Leeds involved “shocking and sudden” violence and was witnessed by members of the public as vehicles rammed each other and those involved wore balaclavas and were armed with weapons.
Eight men are on trial at Leeds Crown Court where they are face a charge of conspiracy to commit violent disorder between October 24 and November 1 last year
Andrew Kershaw, prosecuting, told the jury: “The case arises out of a series of violent confrontations between members of the James family and their associates on one side, and members of the Pattison family and their associates on the other side.”
Describing the background to the case, Mr Kershaw said Peter James (senior) had received shotgun wounds to his hands and stomach in an incident in February last year.
After the incident he told police he did not know who was responsible for the incident and no one has been prosecuted.
In April last year George Pattison received severe head injuries in another incident. He also told officers he did not know who was behind the attack.
Mr Kershaw said: “It is suggested that it is no coincidence that the next family to be attacked was the James family.
The court heard Samuel, Daniel and Peter James were rammed by another vehicle at a Land Rover dealership in Leeds on October 25.
They were threatened by a group of men, one holding a machete, but left when police were alerted.
Daniel James and another man were then seen on CCTV at a B&Q store five days later buying items which included a sledge hammer, crowbar and gloves.
The next day, October 31, there was a clash near to the McDonald’s restaurant at Elland Road, Beeston, involving a number of masked men armed with weapons.
Mr Kershaw said Levi Pattison and two of his relatives, Adam and John Kindon, had no “back up” during the incident and fled to a nearby Volkswagen dealership.
The prosecutor said those present were left frightened and confused. Some thought an armed robbery was taking place and others feared someone was going to be taken hostage.
Mr Kershaw said: “The evidence you will hear is that it is not a case of one faction being in the wrong and the other being in the right.
“Each chose to exclude the authorities by denying any knowledge of the attacks and took the law into their own hands by seeking retaliation, retribution and revenge in public areas.
“There appears to be a code of conduct where it is permitted for a man to complain to the police when he is a victim but must never be frank or candid because the conspiracy extends to a conspiracy of silence so that each can pursue its objective.
“As a matter of honour the feud must be pursued and settled without any assistance from the police.”
Those on trial are:
Lee James, 34, of Gelderd Road, Leeds; Peter James (junior), 40, of Murton Lane, York; Samuel James, 54, of Spring Avenue, Leeds; Daniel Robert James, 38, of Bullough Lane, Rothwell; Adam Kindon, 36, of Ingram Road, Leeds; John Kindon, 29, of Gelderd Road, Leeds; Levi Pattison, 39, of Gelderd Road, Leeds; Steve Pattison, 35, of Hillidge Road, Leeds.